Opera Frontier delights both opera fans and opera-phobes. We revere opera. We faithfully excerpt from traditional scores and strive for technically excellent singing. But beyond that, we take outrageous liberties in the service of engaging our audience in unexpected ways . . . through radical changes of context and casting, through the introduction of elements from dance, popular culture, contemporary beat, and narrative. In this way, Opera Frontier redefines the way an audience experiences this glorious music.


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Opera Frontier delights both opera fans and opera-phobes. We revere opera. We faithfully excerpt from traditional scores and strive for technically excellent singing. But beyond that, we take outrageous liberties in the service of engaging our audience in unexpected ways . . . through radical changes of context and casting, through the introduction of elements from dance, popular culture, contemporary beat, and narrative. In this way, Opera Frontier redefines the way an audience experiences this glorious music.

 

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Opera Frontier's Troupe of "choreographable" classically-trained singers perform its portable revue throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. To discuss featuring OFT at your event or for more information, contact

Scout@OperaFrontier.org

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arabian magic mozart

 

Conceived, Produced and Directed: GAIL SIMPSON

Lyrics are based loosely on Donald Pippin’s English translation of Mozart’s Magic Flute.
Learn more about Donald’s work at www.PocketOpera.org or search "Pippin Collection at Stanford".

 

ABOUT ARABIAN MAGIC MOZART:

The first scene of Mozart’s Magic Flute finds the Egyptian prince Tamino, rescued from a menacing dragon by Three Ladies who serve the Queen of the Night. The Ladies vie with each other for time alone with the handsome but unconscious young man, knowing that they will eventually relinquish him to their mistress.

Opera Frontier collaborated with Middle East scholar, musician and dancer, Samrah azZuhur Arabi (Sherifa Zuhur) to infuse the scene with music and dance elements authentic to Mozart’s cultural reference. In our version, the Queen of the Night animates the scene as an enchantress performing a dance based on the taqasim, a traditional Arabic form of improvisation on the maqamat -- or musical modes -- as well as on improvisation in raqs sharqi (oriental dance) and by the percussionists. 

Ali Paris plays the young man over whom the Three Ladies unsuccessfully compete. Classically trained in the US, Ali is a multi-genre musician. He began his training on the qanun as a child prodigy in his native Palestine. He accompanies himself on this rare Middle-Eastern 76-string zither (of 14th century origins) to introduce audiences to ancient and contemporary Middle Eastern music.

In our scene, the Queen draws Tamino into her orbit, indulges her Ladies’ futile flirtation with him, then brings it all to a tuneful conclusion in an offering that we think Mozart would applaud!!



featuring:



Ali Paris (Qanun, Vocals)
Samrah azZuhur Arabi (Dancer, Choreographer)
Gail Simpson (1st Lady)
Maria Mikheyenko (2nd Lady)
Meghan Dibble (3rd Lady)
Sue Bohlin (Piano)
BE (Violin)
Susu Pampanin (Tabla/darbukka, Riqq)
Amina Goodyear (Daff/mazhar)

STAFF: Skye Atman (Music Dir.), Steve Shlisky (Editor), MOYAfotografx (Dir. Photography & 2nd Camera), Anna Kaminska (1st Camera), Daniel Guardado (Boom), Eric Almonte (Audio)