Talent Unlimited High School performed the opera “The Magic Flute” during our holiday shows this year. This opera was written in German, and was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791. “The Magic Flute” takes place in Egypt and is about a prince who falls in love with a woman named Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. I found the story interesting because it was basically about how all the characters find it so difficult to find love. This is something that I suppose was true then and is still true today, making “The Magic Flute” very relatable to our audience.
I played Monostatos, the chief of the slaves, who is also looking for love and has his eye on Pamina. He is a mean villain who is also funny to watch in action. The hardest thing for me was relating to a villain who is funny at the same time, and the most challenging part of this performance was acting out this character’s emotions on stage. This is always hard for me when performing in any show, and my classmates in the show have expressed that this is a challenge for them as well.
It is also really hard for me to balance school work with all the extra time I spend at school practicing for shows, but I deal with it. There were some parties after the last show on Saturday night but I did not attend because I work very hard to keep up my average, so I went home and got up early the next day to do all my homework.
I am currently a voice major but when I first entered this school I was a musical theater major. While in musical theater I was cast in “Little Women,” where I played two characters, Mr. Laurence and Rodigo. This is the second opera I was cast in, and I have a bigger part than I had in “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” so I was a little nervous at first because I had just moved into the voice department. We performed the opera in English, not in German, so learning the music was easy. The scene I was most nervous about was when I was alone with Pamina and I had to try and make her love me. The girl who played Pamina is my friend’s girlfriend in real life, and I just felt nervous doing this, especially since he was also in the opera!
During the performances, the Queen of the Night’s solo received the most applause. She sang a very difficult aria and the crowd loved it. I got the most applause when I was being funny. At one point I got dragged off the stage because the King was punishing me for trying to steal Pamina. I also had a small dance number where I was placed under a spell, which made me do a funny dance with the chorus behind me. We had a choreographer, Emma Canalese, who helped make sure the dancing in the show was good. Dance lessons are part of the musical theater major’s requirements, and I have been taking dance lessons at Talent Unlimited since my freshman year. Although I have not done any tap dancing on stage yet, I do take tap dancing lessons twice a week as a gym class. I really like the fact that my high school offers this to students.
After the performance I got some really great compliments from lots of people—from my family, my friends, and most interestingly, from people I did not even know. They said I did a fantastic job and that I had a great voice. This made me feel great! Everyone in the cast was getting a lot of compliments and they all seemed really happy after each of the performances. We all had to work hard in this opera but, at the same time, found the experience rewarding.
I feel very lucky to have found my passion for the arts in high school, and I am so happy when I am involved in the production of any show. I love to do musicals and I now find that I really enjoy performing operas. I am fortunate to have been able to experience these two types of performances while in high school.
Marc Gross is 17 and a junior at Talented Unlimited High School majoring in voice. He plans to pursue a BFA in musical theatre and is considering a minor in classical voice. His favorite musical is “Cats.”