Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends


Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends

By Alison Moritz, Director of The Magic Flute.

For the past six weeks, the neighborhood of Belltown in Seattle has been my temporary home while I worked on a production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers at the Seattle Opera. This placard is placed above the doorway of a nearby hostel, and it seems like a fitting beginning to this behind-the-scenes series of Opera Memphis’ The Magic Flute.

In 2007, I first encountered the wit and wisdom of Opera Memphis General Director Ned Canty through his blog “Modified Rapture” – which documented the production process of his crazy-delightful Mikado at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. And so, inspired by Ned and fortified with caffeine, I’ve volunteered to blog throughout the rehearsals for our upcoming Magic Flute

Enter as Strangers…

Wednesday, October 28: Today is a loooong travel day. I got up at 2:30 am (yes, for real!) to fly from Seattle to St. Louis, with just enough time to repack my suitcase before driving four hours from St. Louis to Memphis before the first big day of meetings and rehearsals tomorrow. In Memphis, the stage management team, local designers, administration, music staff, Resident Artists, and chorus have already been prepping for weeks – and I can’t wait to meet them! In just a few days, our principal singers will be arriving from all over the country. 

...Leave as Friends

I initially took this photograph because it seemed like such a fitting modern example of what Tamino finds when he arrives at the temple doors of Reason, Wisdom, and Nature on his quest to find Pamina. At its heart, The Magic Flute is an opera about community – and about the trials we face as individuals to be of service to something larger than ourselves. Between “entering as strangers” and “leaving as friends,” there is a special alchemy. It’s my aspiration to capture a tiny part of that transformation here, and to include you (our audiences, colleagues, and friends far and wide) in our attempt at making magic. We’re here to connect with you. Our door is open.

Want more Alison magic? Be on the lookout for more posts throughout the rehearsal process!

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