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San Francisco Opera to offer family-friendly screening of 'The Magic Flute' in Sonoma

29 Apr 2014 5:29 PM
San Francisco Opera to offer family-friendly screening of 'The Magic Flute' in Sonoma

As one of the most historically significant cities in the United States, Sonoma has long been home to a fair share of unique cultural offerings, ranging from sophisticated gourmet eateries to cutting-edge art galleries. However, one of the metropolitan area's most beloved activities has traditionally been viewing entertaining live performances of classical music and beloved storylines at local theaters, as local residents generally have a flair for the dramatic. 

That tradition is slated to continue this weekend, when the Sebastiani Theatre plays host to a family-friendly screening of one of Mozart's most famous operas, "The Magic Flute," presented by the critically acclaimed San Francisco Opera at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3. A truncated version of the popular production will be offered, ensuring that Sonoma's youngest citizens will be given the opportunity to experience the exciting plot and thrilling performances first-hand.

Performances condense opera into 60 minutes
While the San Francisco Opera cannot easily transport its army of accomplished actors and meritorious musicians, it has succeeded in creating one-hour movie versions of celebrated operas, which arts centers throughout the Golden State and across the nation are able to show. Produced by the group's Education Department for Bay Area School and Community Programs, the performance of The Magic Flute was captured on film during a 2007 presentation the San Francisco Opera conducted for area families. 

Preceding this particular showing will be a 15-minute live introduction, where young theater-goers can learn of the conflicts and climaxes to come. The Magic Flute follows the charming journey of Prince Tamino and bird catcher Papageno as they attempt to rescue the beautiful princess Pamina, who was kidnapped by a dubious magician, Sarastro. During their exploits, the characters manage to discover their true loves and learn the virtues of forgiveness and wisdom.

Ensuring that the city's youth will be able to participate in the occasion, tickets to the screening at the Sebastiani Theatre are being offered free of charge. Accordingly, those who are interested in attending the event are encouraged to arrive early, as seats will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

For those aficionados who wish to relate aspects of The Magic Flute's plot to educational teachings for students, the San Francisco Opera offers a vast amount of associated resource materials. Through its list of curriculum connections, educators can creatively use the play to make meaningful connections in the classroom.

Sebastiani Theatre celebrating 80 years
Designed by the revered architect James W. Reid, this historic theater was built by Samuele Sebastiani in 1933 and initially served as a movie house, according to the Sonoma Index-Tribune. The grand opening was held on April 7, 1934, where an estimated 1,000 people filled First Street East. The first film shown within the theater was "The Fugitive Lovers," which cost viewers 30 cents a piece to see. During the years, a number of famous personalities paid a visit to the Sonoma institution, including the actors John Garfield and Ronald Reagan.

This year, the theater is celebrating its 80th anniversary, with a number of exciting shows and enriching benefits and engaging concerts. To learn more about the year's upcoming offerings, visit the venue's official website.

If you know of a young theater enthusiast who may enjoy attending this weekend's exclusive screening, consider making the proper arrangements as soon as possible, as it promises to be a memorable experience, but space is limited. For more information regarding the upcoming occasion, contact the Sebastiani Theatre at 707-996-2020.