Friday, November 29, 2019

LA Opera Family Friendly The Magic Flute


MBE partnered with LA Opera for this review

Real Opera Kids Will Actually Love

Want to introduce your child to the amazing world of classical music and operatic professional performances? If you are fortunate enough to be in Southern California, consider bringing the whole family to see the live, engaging LA Opera multi-media performance of Mozart's The Magic Flute running through December 15 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. 

The Magic Flute LA Opera Pamina Zuzana Markova
Image courtesy of LA Opera

We just saw this production -- with its uber modern hand-drawn animation twist on staging originally created for the Komische Oper Berlin, Germany by the British theater company known as 1927 -- and it is two thumbs up the most kid- and family-friendly opera with the broadest multi-generational appeal that we've seen in recent years.

Those of you familiar with The Magic Flute already know the beautiful music, fairy tale storyline and wacky characters in the most frequently-performed German language opera. But readers of all ages who are new to opera, have no fear, if you've never seen an opera this is a good one with which to start. You'll be able to easily get lost in this silly fantasy because neither being fluent in German or even knowing much about Mozart's music is required.

LA Opera The Magic Flute Date Night With Hubby

The plot line is simple and easy to follow thanks to the free programs handed out by the ushers explaining this two-act opera (run time 2 hours, 40 minutes with one intermission). Adding to the enjoyment for as broad an audience as possible of both sophisticated opera goers and newbies are the English subtitles clearly visible to all above the stage and off to both sides without distracting you from watching all the action on stage.

I've seen several other productions of The Magic Flute and this one is by far my favorite because of its wide universal multi-generational appeal. It reaches across a huge arc of  interpretations from fantasy and surrealism to magic as well as exudes a mashup display of relatable human emotions from fear and loneliness, to bravery, love, friendship, joy and more.

The Magic Flute Papageno Spirits
Images courtesy of LA Opera

Previous stagings of this opera which I've seen centered around human actors dressed in feathered bird costumes. But in this version, with some exceptions, the performers appear as humans who sing and deliver their stories from birdhouse-looking perches high above the stage. 

Kids, especially, will  get a kick out of watching the characters come and go from these little ledges several building stories high, appearing and disappearing via revolving trap doors that reminded me of the bird that pops in and out of sight at the top of the hour on a cuckoo clock.

Other kid-friendly touches in the show feature a range of projected images behind the actors on stage. These include graphics reminiscent of Marvel super hero comic books like Spider-Man and animated flying pink elephants (bringing to mind the original flying elephant, Dumbo). 

Certainly, there's never a dull moment with cast members seen interacting with flashing strobe lighting effects, a nod to the black and white silent film era complete with subtitles inspired by greats such as Buster Keaton.

LA Opera Janis Brett Elspas The Magic Flute

There's also the trio of spirits, portrayed with the help of animation and artistic lighting by child soloists David Kakuk, Thomas Quinn Fagan, and Anika Erickson from the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, who appear to flutter their animated butterfly wings. Suffice it to say that few of us have seen a live performance quite like this one that uses strobe lighting, animation, smoke, creative costumes and other special effects so artfully, engaging the audience and elevating our enjoyment from beginning to end.

Be sure to get there early. You and your kids are going to want to can take turns taking snapshots of each other with your smartphones at The Magic Flute themed free photo booth on the plaza out in front. Then, get social with @LAOpera and don't forget to share all your fun photos of your family with the hashtag #LAOMagicFlute.

The Magic Flute Tickets

Kids Tickets Always 50% Off, Family Day at LA Opera

To nurture the next generation of opera lovers to grow and thrive and make opera accessible to as many young people as possible, LA Opera is providing half-price tickets for kids ages 8 to 17 years old not only for The Magic Flute (which is one of the top ten operas worldwide) but also all other performances this season. 

The 2019/2020 season runs through June and culminates with another Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart favorite, The Marriage of Figaro.  Season ticket subscribers can add the Family Package to your season subscription at a reduced rate. Note half-price tickets are only available by phone by calling 213-972-8001 Monday-Friday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Each season the opera company holds a special Family Day giving children ages 8 and up, the opportunity to learn more the opera and its characters. This year, in conjunction with The Magic Flute, this child-centric event is scheduled for December 1 and will feature a reception with desserts and a holiday activity during intermission. After the performance is over, kids will have the opportunity to have their programs signed by the opera's cast members. All activities are subject to change.

LA Opera Los Angeles Chandelier

More About LA Opera in Los Angeles

LA Opera, located at 135 North Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, is the fourth largest opera company in North America. Learn more about everything LA Opera has to offer by visiting their official website as well as following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


  1. I know my girls and I would love to go to this. I wish it would come to New York City. I'd love for us to go.

  2. This is something I want my grandson to learn to appreciate. Stage plays and musicals are very educational and helps a child develop a flair for the arts. Happy that LA Opera offers such shows that both kids and adults will love.

  3. What a nice date night to get out and see a show. Looks like you both had a great time out and about.

  4. I have never been to an opera so this would be great for me. I like that it is geared for kids.

  5. I've never seen the opera either. I think it would be a fun thing to experience together as a family.

  6. I've never been to an opera before. This sounds like an amazing one too. I'm sure my kids would really enjoy this as well.

  7. I would love to go to an Opera one day. I bet my kids would really love it as well.

  8. As a theater buff, I like the idea of exposing kids to theater at a young age