Pittsburgh Opera Opens Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’; Bill Toms At Rivers Casino; National Opera House Fundraiser (Sat., 11/6/21)

THE MAGIC FLUTE (opera) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Emanuel Schikaneder. Pittsburgh Opera. Nov. 6 – 14.  

Prince Tamino (David Portillo) recoils from a dragon attack in Pittsburgh Opera's 'The Magic Flute.' (photo: David Bachman Photography)

Prince Tamino (David Portillo) recoils from a dragon attack in Pittsburgh Opera’s ‘The Magic Flute.’ (photo: David Bachman Photography)

1) The Magic Flute is not your ordinary opera. Along with its bizarre story line and its enduring popularity, there is the fact that Mozart and librettist Emanual Schikaneder didn’t actually consider it an opera—at least not in the grand-opera style of the late 1700s. Like most Broadway musicals today, The Magic Flute combines spoken dialogue with the singing and dance. Technically it is a Singspiel (German for “singing game”), and to play the game a new way, Pittsburgh Opera presents The Magic Flute spoken and sung in English. The story remains an extreme exercise in allegorical fantasy: A prince wanders into an enchanted land where he meets a strange character calling himself a bird-catcher. Spirits appear, urging the two to rescue the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Said daughter is held captive in the domain of an evil wizard, but wait. The wizard turns out to be an enlightened sage. Villainy is indeed afoot but it’s an inside job. To accomplish the mission, the prince must undergo ordeals of fire and water. The flute of the title is a power object for changing sorrow to joy. 

In case you wondered, yes, The Magic Flute has been made into a video game. But Pittsburgh Opera’s production gives you all the humor, drama, and brilliant Mozart music of the original. Tenor David Portillo is the prince and soprano Adelaide Boedecker plays the captive princess. The English libretto is projected above the stage in supertitles for super-clarity. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (M.V.)

Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns will be performing June 11 at the South Park Amphitheater for the Allegheny County Concert Summer Concert Series. (photo: Rick Handler)

Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns will be performing June 11 at the South Park Amphitheater for the Allegheny County Concert Summer Concert Series. (photo: Rick Handler)

2) Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns will be rockin’ out Rivers Casino Drum Bar this evening. Toms recently released a new album, Keep Movin’ On. See our story on the making of the album. Toms’ slightly raspy, deeply soulful voice and his guitar playing prowess combine with the drums, horns, and rest of the band to create a hot rock sound. 9 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore.

3) The National Opera House alongside Buildings by Shane will be having a art reception at Commonplace Coffee Voluto from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be prints benefiting the National Opera House, vegan Mexican food from Disfrutar, live music by Brad Yoder, complimentary hard seltzer from Personal Day Seltzer, and Commonplace Coffee beverages. 5467 Penn Ave.