Utah Opera
Anya Matanovic as Pamina with Robert Breault as Tamino.

SALT LAKE CITY — The saying "love at first sight" has never been more true when it comes to a prince falling instantly in love with a princess after seeing her in a picture.

The Utah Opera will perform "The Magic Flute," a classic German opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Cast members include University of Utah School of Music professor Robert Breault as Tamino, Utah Opera alumna Anya Matanovic as Pamina, and internationally renowned baritone Daniel Belcher as Papageno.

Breault's character, Tamino, is a prince from a foreign land who finds himself pursued by a serpent and fears for his life. After being saved by three ladies, he learns of a princess named Pamina who is being held captive. He soon makes it his mission to rescue the princess, but little does he know he will have to face struggles in order to save her.

"It is a timeless story we hear over and over again. It is not until we face trials in our life that we realize those trials were all worth it in the end," Breault said.

Considered one of Mozart's greatest works, "The Magic Flute" has the ability to reach out to all ages.

"It has the power to capture the imagination of both a child and an adult," said Breault. "It's sophisticated and childlike, which accounts for its charm."

Princess Pamina, who has been captured by the demon Sarastro, soon hears Tamino is in love with her and her heart rejoices. After multiple attempts to escape, she eagerly awaits to finally be rescued by her true love.

From playing the role of the princess, Matanovic has learned a valuable life lesson.

"You can't face life on your own. As great and powerful as you think you are, we all need the help of other people," said Matanovic.

As a young opera singer who has been given many opportunities, Matanovic reflected on what she enjoys about her career.

"I love the moments when everything comes together and you almost forget it's an opera," Matanovic said. "When the people on stage and all the other elements involved become true and honest, there's this moment when a connection is made, and that for me is one of the most powerful experiences."

Papageno is an entertaining bird catcher who accompanies Tamino on his quest to rescue the princess. Although Papageno longs for a wife like Tamino, he doesn't let his longing take away from his happy spirit.

"We all have our journey, and no matter what paths we chose to take in life, the key is to find joy and fulfillment along the way," said Belcher.

Blecher feels fortunate to have a career that allows him to have fun every day.

"I get to live in the land of make-believe," Belcher said. "Whether it's a fairytale or a serious drama, I get to play pretend and be a storyteller. I'm very lucky."

Conductor Tim Long appreciates music of all different sorts. When talking about music from "The Magic Flute," Long described the beauty when the singers and orchestra come together.

"The way Mozart wrote the music is just magical," said Long. "Even those who may not think they like operas will appreciate this music. It's a completely new experience, and anyone who comes to this opera will grow from it."

The performance will be held on March 16, 18, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on March 24 at the Capitol Theatre. Conducted by Long, the opera will be sung in German with English subtitles. The performance will last approximately two hours with one 20-minute intermission.

Cost of single tickets ranges from $13 to $78 and can be purchased by calling 801-355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office (123 West South Temple) or online at utahopera.org. Discounted student tickets will be available only on the day of the performance. All ticket prices are subject to change and will increase by $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.

Kylie Lewis is an intern for the Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, receiving a bachelor's degree in communications.