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'The Magic Flute' at Lichfield Cathedral

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published July 4th 2015
Opera stars singing up a storm in the aisles
One of the greatest and most popular operas of all time was given a brand new look in the beautiful setting of historic Lichfield Cathedral.

Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' is an enchanting tale of love, fantasy and folklore, with some of the most sublime music ever written.

This magnificent and ever-popular opera was chosen to mark the opening night of the Lichfield Festival comprising ten days of festivities.

Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield Festival. The Magic Flute, Mozart
Magnificent Lichfield Cathedral hosting The Magic Flute

Lichfield Cathedral, which is the only medieval English cathedral with three spires, provided the atmospheric setting for this unique Lichfield Festival concert-style production.

A stellar cast of singing stars was drawn from the stages of the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, La Scala, and Welsh National Opera, with piano accompaniment provided throughout by Anthony Kraus and Ian Ryan, even imitating the 'flute' of the title.

The stars on show included soprano Anna Dennis and tenor Alexander Sprague as the star-crossed lovers Pamina and Tamino, Samantha Hay as the fiery Queen of the Night, Richard Wiegold as the Queen's bitter enemy Sarastro, and Jonathan Gunthorpe as the bumbling bird-catcher Papageno.

Anna Dennis, The Magic Flute, Pamina, Lichfield Festival, Lichfield Cathedral
Anna Dennis stars as star-struck lover Pamina

They were joined by RSC actor Guy Henry of Holby City and Harry Potter fame who gave a specially-commissioned new narration by acclaimed author Janice Galloway.

The line-up also included three former girl choristers from Lichfield Cathedral - Jemina Richardson-Jones, Amber Jordan and Alice Windsor - who took on the roles of the Three Spirits.

Although not performed strictly in costume, the quality of the singing and piano accompaniment made this a thoroughly enjoyable musical experience which fans of all ages were able to enjoy.

And for those people further down the aisle away from the stage, a series of screens were mounted on pillars to help them get a close-up view of this special production of 'The Magic Flute', produced and directed by Tess Gibbs and Damian Thantrey.

Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield Festival, The Magic Flute, elephants
Colourful elephants greeting visitors to Lichfield Cathedral

Visitors to the Cathedral were able to enjoy a pre-performance drink in specially erected tents, while they also got to see some of the colourfully painted model elephants which are on display around Lichfield during the course of the Festival, which runs until July 12.

For information about further festival shows and tickets please call 01543 412121 or visit
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Why? A delightful operatic treat in a beautiful cathedral setting
Phone: 01543 306100
Where: 19A The Close, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 7LD
Cost: Tickets ú11-ú38
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