Go Behind the Stage on SMU Opera Theatre’s The Magic Flute

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Many hours of planning and creation went to each costume for Meadows Opera Theatre’s Magic Flute production, which ran February 4-7 in the Bob Hope Theatre (All photos by Kim Leeson)

The magic of SMU Opera Theatre’s The Magic Flute began months before the show. Directed by Hank Hammett, conducted by Martha Raley Peak Endowed Centennial Chair Paul Phillips, and with the incredible work of Meadows Costume Shop and Meadows’ M.F.A. students in Theatre/Design, the show was strikingly vivid.

(Scene design by Darren Diggle; Costume design by Hunter Dowell; Lighting design by Russell Bockemuehl)

Photographer Kim Leeson brought her camera back stage to capture the work going on behind the scenes, and the orchestra’s work in conjunction with the incredible stage design. Take a look.

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15 Stunning Photos from SMU Meadows’ The Magic Flute

Scene from Meadows Opera Theatre's Magic Flute, directed by Hank Hammett
Scene from Meadows Opera Theatre’s Magic Flute, directed by Hank Hammett (All photos by Kim Leeson)

Conduct. Goodness. Honor. Truth. Spirituality. Morality. Adversity. Imagination. Whimsy. Innocence. Humor. Wonder. The Magic Flute, one of the most popular and appealing operas of all time, opened at Meadows’ Bob Hope Theatre on February 4. Full of enchanting, magical melodies and fantastical creatures, it brings Mozart’s genius to the fore in this, his last and greatest opera. SMU Opera Theatre’s presentation featured a new English translation by Kelley Rourke, with English supertitles.

Photographer Kim Leeson went behind the scenes to capture a dress rehearsal, bringing back these stunning photos.

The Magic Flute at SMU Meadows was directed by Hank Hammett, conducted by Paul Phillips, and runs February 4-7 (2/4-2/7 at 8:00 p.m.; 2/7 at 2:00 p.m.) at Meadows’ Bob Hope Theatre. 

Scene design by Darren Diggle; Costume design by Hunter Dowell; Lighting design by Russell Bockemuehl
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Shooting Stars

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Upperclassmen and recent film alums such as Meadows Scholar Amanda Presmyk (’14) led a 40-member cast and crew in the production. Long days and nights of shooting footage occur during the summer, but a typical Summer Film Production takes two years from start to finish.

Summer Film Production 

While some colleges offer film students a chance to work on a 90-minute feature film, the students are often limited to taking low-level crew positions, working off a script written by a professor or directed by a professional. At SMU Meadows’ Division of Film & Media Arts, the Meadows Summer Film Production (SFP) program puts students in charge of every aspect of creating the film, providing intense, hands-on experience that prepares students for the rigors of the film industry.

Meadows provides seed money for each film. Mark Kerins, associate professor of film, serves as mentor. Working with an original script, students create a budget, raise additional money, cast the actors, hammer out the logistics of every scene, arrange for food service and transportation, rent, haul, set up and tear down gear and sets, come up with wardrobe and makeup, shoot 12 hours a day for two weeks (nonstop), edit, tweak audio, create an ad campaign and promote the film to the public and to film festivals. Read more