The upcoming premieres of the new production of W. A. Mozart´s opera The Magic Flute, on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th February, will also bring several debuts of home and guest soloists, creating the interesting cast of the new production of the Opera State Theatre Košice.
Czech soprano Lucie Kaňková in the role of Queen of the Night will perform for the audience in Košice for the first time. “Queen of the Night is a magical role. It´s completely exceptional, original with the singing line, position and mystery. Her famous aria ´Der Hölle Rache’ is notorious even to non-opera fans. Everyone can recognize the mistake, so the singer is literally on the edge of the abyss. Even those who take a nap in the theatre will wake up for a while and be more alert. I dare to say, Mozart´s Queen of the Night is one of the most mentally demanding opera roles, which requires nerves of steel in addition to good singing technique. I try to add something extra to the role in terms of acting as well. The Queen of the Night is important by her presence on stage, even if she is not singing – every gesture, every movement must have its meaning.”, says Lucie Kaňková, who portrays characters of the world opera repertoire with great success not only in Czech opera houses, but also in Switzerland and Hungary. She still performs as the Queen of the Night in the production of the National Theatre in Prague and with this character she was also part of the Hungarian State Opera´s grand tour in Japan. She is the recipient of several awards from international singing competitions. For example, in 2021 she won the world singing competition Nomea and in the summer of 2022 she won the international singing competition Mimas Music Festival in Italy.
The young talented Slovak tenor Andrej Vencel, a student of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, will also make his debut in Košice in the role of Tamino. “ I became more familiar with The Magic Flute during my study stay in Linz, where I musically studied the Tamino role, however, up until now I did not have an opportunity to bring this character to life for the audience and perform it publicly. I immediately fell in love with this opera as with many other Mozart operas. I think, this opera offers a young singer an opportunity to grow and gather new singing experiences. The role of Tamino is my personal singing challenge. In addition to number of solo and ensemble performances it offers the performer space to use a wide range of acting and expressive ways to a more complex depiction of the character´s nature. The Magic Flute is full of ear-pleasing melodies and the story carries in its depth many symbols and references that can still be relevant even for a modern audience. I am fully enjoying the rehearsal process of The Magic Flute in Košice and I am looking forward to the premiere and next performances.”
Home soloist, Marek Grubaľ, also sings his role of Papageno for the first time. “In fact, it´s only third opera I sing in German. Papageno is an ordinary person who only needs sleep, eat and drink. And yes, if possible, he would like to catch a pretty girl too. Papageno is a comic character in this opera, so it is not very difficult to get used to his inner world. Working with the director Alexander Wiegold is very pleasant, stress free, and with the conductor Vini Kattah, expert not only in Mozart´s music, they make a great couple, so working with such a team was very nice.”, says Marek Grubaľ.
The Magic Flute is also special for Pamina – the guest soprano Aneta Hollá, who is very well-known to the Košice audience. “My relationship with Mozart has always been more than positive. His music evokes the most beautiful feelings in me. The Magic Flute is one of my favourite operas. I have a relationship with it since my studies at Academy of Performing Arts, where I graduated with Pamina. It was also my first role here at the State Theatre Košice. I am glad to have the opportunity to sing it again. To me, Pamina as a princess is a strong, courageous, loyal and loving young woman.”, says Aneta Hollá.