From boy to birdman – The Magic Flute

From boy to birdman – The Magic Flute

Tonight I’m making my debut with one of my most important roles to date: Papageno, the chattering bird-catcher in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). It’s not, however, my first ‘Flute’. This was the opera which actually got me into opera. Back when I was 13, before my voice changed, my singing teacher, Delith Brook, was directing a production of ‘Flute’ at USQ in Toowoomba, and I was cast as one of the three Knaben (boys) who periodically appear to give wise advice to the heroes. I’m certainly not the first Papageno to have first been a Knaben! Incidentally, it will also be the 90th performance of this particular production. (See more photos from the Karlsruhe production here)

As Papageno (photo by Felix Grünschloß)

As the 3. Knabe in 1996 (Photo by Don Hildred)

One response to “From boy to birdman – The Magic Flute”

  1. […] Papageno is one of those roles which is slightly infamous for the sheer amount of dialogue he has. In the process of learning and rehearsing, I wish I’d recieved the proverbial dollar (or rather, euro) for each time someone sympathised with my plight; being an ‘Auslaender’ (ironically, ‘aussie’) simply compounded that. In fact, my make-up artist knows the lines better than we did because for the last decade or so, Papagenos and Taminos have sat in the make-up chairs practising their dialogues before each show. Here’s the thing about sitting in the make-up chair:  you can see the opposite wall,which is lined with photos of people in costume and make-up from all the previous shows, and some of those, are photos of other baritones in the very same make-up and wig that I was being given on Christmas Day. […]

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