San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Students Tackle Mozart’s Opera

THE Magic Flute, the opera, will be performed by Opera Novaat Teatro Mozart Saturday, Sunday and Monday evening.The masterpiece opera, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is sungin German and dialogues will be spoken in Spanish.Karen Esquivel, founder and director of Opera Nova, said whileaudience members may not understand the words to the songs, itwould be difficult to misunderstand what’s happening on stage.Mozart wrote the opera in 1791, between the FrenchRevolution and his death. The work’s complicated plot is full ofsymbols, ideals and ideas of the Masons as well as fantasy elements,like a magical flute, sorcerers and a dragon.“I’m not a Mason,” Esquivel said, laughing. “We’ve adapted alittle bit of that Masonic stuff, and played up more of the fairy-taleaspect of the work.”THREE genies will serve as narrators and describe what ishappening in the opera as if they were reading a fairy tale.The Magic Flute has become one of the most widely performedoperas, but it has never been performed in Costa Rica before, shesaid.“It’s a very important work and it’s very fun,” Esquivel said.“Really, it’s for children, the opera is very fantastic with a very badwitch character, a unicorn and other magic animals and lots of glitter.Basically, it’s a love story and the fight between good and evil.”Opera Nova designed all the props, set pieces and costumes.The group’s goal, apart from providing quality opera productionsto the public, is to train young, talented singers.Not only do their opera students learn voice techniques andhow to put together a stage, but they also participate in the operas.EVEN though they’re students, Esquivel said they have veryprofessional voices.“The girl who plays the princess is great and the queen is magnificent.When she sings, it’s like fireworks,” she said.The opera will not be performed in its entirety, only excerpts.Esquivel said she cut out the “boring” or slow parts and left in themost “fun and exciting” scenes. The show will take a little morethan two hours with an intermission.THIS will be the group’s second performance. Last year, forthe first show, Esquivel said they were expecting about 100 peopletotal over the course of two days. Instead, they had a full house andhad to turn people away and ended up performing an extra night.The opera begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Monday and at5 p.m. on Sunday at the Teatro Mozart in San Francisco de DosRíos. Tickets are ¢3,000 ($7) for the general public or ¢2,000($4.60) for students and senior citizens. For more info or to requesttickets, call 836-4920 or e-mail

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