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Mozart and Mystery 

OperaBend unveils its new season

Bend has an opera company!

Which hopefully is not news since OperaBend has been around since 2013, and already has mounted a few handsome productions such as Love: The Bitter and the Sweet and Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief. Executive Director Jason Stein also had a large part not only shaping the vocal performances in this year's phenomenal production of Les Miserables, but also gave a stirring performance as Jean Valjean.

What is next for OperaBend is equal parts excitement and mystery since the Nov. 14 and 16 production, entitled A Little Light Music, is a sneak preview of their 2014-2015 season. Artistic director Nancy Engebretson said audience can expect a family friendly performance from the preview.

"We are doing selections from Mozart's The Magic Flute, featuring dancing slaves, enchanted animals, a narcissistic queen, a simpering prince and an heroic princess," she explained. "The other numbers are sneak peeks, so I can't tell you what they are or they wouldn't be 'sneak.' "

The Magic Flute will be performed in May and I also maaaaayyyyy have stumbled upon what they are doing in June, but I would not want to spoil Engebreston's fun. Sufficed to say fans of opera and musicals in general will be very pleased with the selection.

What I can tell you is that The Magic Flute is one of Mozart's most sculpted pieces and a perfect selection for opera enthusiasts as well as people looking for an easy entry point into the art form. The piece was far ahead of its time with its criticism of the Roman Catholic Church's papal ban of Freemasonry and focus on the Age of Reason's fascination with individualism over tradition. The piece offers such range for performers across the spectrum, that no one with the talent could be overlooked for the operatic masterpiece.

"A most exciting aspect of this is the people," said Engebretson. "Ranging in age and theatre experience from teen to septuagenarian and rookies to experienced, I am continually tickled by the enthusiastic creative energy that is cooked up in a group like this."

A Little Light Music

7pm, Fri., Nov. 14 & 3pm, Sun., Nov. 16

COCC Pinckney Center for the Arts, 2600 NW College Way

Free.

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