Atlanta Opera to close 30th anniversary season with classic
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@mdjonline.com
April 25, 2010 11:17 PM | 2224 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hugh Russell performs in The Atlanta Opera’s ‘The Magic Flute.’ The Opera will close its 30th anniversary season with a new production of Mozart’s last opera.
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COBB GALLERIA - The Atlanta Opera closes its 30th anniversary season with a new production of Mozart's last opera, "The Magic Flute," which opened on Saturday at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Other performances will be on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

The Magic Flute follows the story of Tamino, an Egyptian prince, in his journey to find Pamina, the Queen's daughter, and rescue her from the sorcerer Sarastro. Singing the role of the second Genie will be Emily Priborkin, a sophomore in the international studies magnet program at North Cobb High School.

Though it will be her fifth Atlanta opera performance, the 16-year-old said the feeling to perform with the professional company is still "amazing."

"To have the chance to be able to perform with professional opera singers as a principal among them is the opportunity of a lifetime," Priborkin said.

In her role, Priborkin portrays a spirit in the form of a young boy, who is very knowledgeable and caring, but still a child who likes to play around. Her favorite part of the role, she said, is flying on a gondola.

"It is the most extraordinary experience to be able to sing from 67 feet in the air," she said.

Priborkin has been singing since she was 8. Her parents are Russian immigrants, which she said has allowed her to become interested in different cultures.

"Opera has the ability to present these cultures on the stage through art," said Priborkin. "The opera is an art that has been around for ages, I feel it is timeless and beautiful, and that is why I love it so much."

Jennifer Langley, head of the Atlanta Opera Children's Chorus, recruited Priborkin and two other high school students to perform in "The Magic Flute." All three began performing with the company as elementary students.

"It was helpful to cast kids that are a little older because of the demands of singing in German and the need for them to have voices that are mature enough to be heard without amplification over the orchestra," said Langley.

"When I auditioned Emily, she was not only extremely talented, has a very strong voice and great stage presence, but was also well-prepared. I knew she would be a great asset to the children's chorus.

At North Cobb High School, Priborkin performs in musicals and plays. However, balancing school and singing is not an easy task, she acknowledged.

"It has been a little difficult, coming home from rehearsal at 11 p.m., but I always manage to get my homework done and maintain good grades," she said.

Though singing has become a big part of her life, Priborkin said sees less Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and more Perry Mason in her future. She said she plans to study law and journalism in college. "I hope to go to the University of Georgia for a political science and journalism double major, and then continue my studies at possibly Emory or Harvard for a law degree," she said.

The Magic Flute opera will be sung in German with English supertitles. Spoken dialogue will be in English.

Tickets range from $25 to $125, plus taxes and fees. To purchase tickets, visit www.atlantaopera.org, call (404) 881-8885 or 1 (800) 35-OPERA, or visit the Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Centre, located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway in Atlanta.

Season tickets to the Atlanta Opera's 2010-11 season at the Cobb Energy Centre are now available.
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