Festival Amadeus celebrates its 10th season this summer with the addition of a new component, a concert performance of Mozart’s last opera “The Magic Flute” (Die Zauberflöte). The in-concert production is the two-night finale for the festival, held Aug. 8-13 in Whitefish. Additionally, two chamber concerts will be presented at Bethany Lutheran Church in Bigfork on Wednesday, Aug. 9 and Friday, Aug. 11. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
“I’ve been wanting to include one of Mozart’s operatic masterpieces during our festival and the 10th anniversary landmark seemed the perfect time to introduce his final and most enigmatic opera,” says John Zoltek, the festival’s founding music director. “Die Zauberflöte is a sublime fantasy morality tale that moves between earthy comedy and noble mysticism. It will be a spectacular finale to our week of orchestra and chamber concerts!”
Festival Amadeus opens Aug. 8 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center with an orchestra concert, “Lyric and Heroic.” Guest pianist, Tanya Gabrielian will be the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G under the baton of Maestro Zoltek. The program will include two more of Mozart’s works; Impresario Overture and Symphony No. 39 in Eb major.
This marks Gabrielian’s second appearance at Festival Amadeus since her debut in 2014. After completing degrees in piano and viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London, she shot onto the international stage at age 20 with back-to-back victories in the Scottish International Piano Competition and Aram Khachaturyan International Piano Competition.
Since then she has played in major concert halls all over the world. She is hailed by the London Times as a “pianist of powerful physical and imaginative muscle.”
Chamber Night 1, Sonata, Suite and Solos on Wednesday, Aug. 9, will offer an engaging duo program with Gabrielian and violinist Yevgeny Kutik, who also appears at Festival Amadeus for the second time. Their program will include two duo pieces; Beethoven’s Sonata for violin and piano No. 1 and Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne. Completing the program will be solo piano works by Chopin, Two Nocturnes, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and a modern solo violin work, Arioso Doloroso/ Estatico by Michael Gandolfi.
The concert will be held in the O’Shaughnessy Center (OSC) in Whitefish and reprised Aug. 11 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Bigfork.
Yevgeny Kutik is praised for his technical precision and virtuosity and lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire. The internationally acclaimed artist is a native of Minsk, Belarus, having immigrated to the United States with his family at age five. “Yevgeny Kutik looks and sounds like someone perfectly willing do anything, whatever it takes, to tell you what this music is saying to him” writes The Huffington Post.
Orchestra Night 2: Prokofiev and Mendelssohn are the featured composers on Thursday, Aug. 10, at the WFPAC. This concert features violinist Kutik with the Festival orchestra in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor followed by Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A Major. Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture will open the concert.
Chamber Night 2 on Friday, Aug. 11, brings the incomparable Fry Street Quartet back to the Festival Amadeus stage. This will be the quartet’s fifth appearance at the festival, much to the delight of concert goers. Their program will include Haydn’s Quartet in B flat Major, Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor and Beethoven’s String Quartet in A minor. Fry Street will also perform in Bigfork on Aug. 9.
Mozart’s final opera, The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) will be performed Aug. 12-13 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.
This evocative modern concert version is augmented with photographic projections and English subtitles, and features an impressive cast of singers from across the U.S. and Montana and a select chorus of the Glacier Chorale.
Tickets for Festival Amadeus
Fully transferable passes are available for $169 for a five-concert pass or $119 for a pick three-concert pass (includes 1one opera and choice of chamber or orchestra nights). Pass purchasers are included in one of two post-opera receptions held at the Firebrand Hotel, across the street from the WFPAC. They also receive a complimentary gondola ride to the top of Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Call the GSC Box Office 406-407-7000 or purchase at the venue on the day of show.
Single concert tickets are available online at www.gscmusic.tix.com and range from $10-$35 for orchestra and chamber concerts and $10-$49 for opera performances.
Free Musician Talks
North Valley Music School in Whitefish holds Camp Festival Amadeus concurrently with the festival at Whitefish Middle School. The public has an opportunity to learn more about the process of making music when festival guest artists share their stories at several “Musical Journey” talks with the students.
The programs are held in the lobby of Whitefish Middle School and are free of charge. The public is also invited to observe Camp Festival Amadeus classes during the week. For more information contact NVMS at 406- 862-8074 or visit www.northvalleymusicschool.org.