Taylor Wallbank in Festival Opera’s Magic Flute on stage at the Napier Municipal Theater

Opera music

Taylor Wallbank will take on the lead role of Monostatos in The Magic Flute.

The Opera Festival is ready to transport you this summer to an enchanted world with its highly anticipated season of The Magic Flute!

We sat down with the cast of the company to chat about life on stage and this iconic WA Mozart melodic fairy tale. This week, we find Taylor Wallbank, one of our young emerging artists and a graduate of the Prima Volta Project who will be taking on the lead role of Monostatos.

Who is your most favorite character to play and why?

Alfredo from La traviata in the opera scenes I played in at the University of Waikato was very enjoyable. The music is so satisfying to sing and the emotion and dynamic contrast of such a young but passionate character is a joy to try to portray on stage.

What was your favorite scene to play and why?

The Blyth Performing Arts Center in Iona, where I performed Messiah, was an amazing stage to perform on. The facilities were very modern and aesthetically pleasing and the acoustics in the main theater are probably one of the best in the southern hemisphere.

Tell us about the role you play in The Magic Flute at Festival Opera?

The role I’m preparing at the moment as Monostatos is considerably difficult. The music is difficult because it is very fast and the German language is very difficult at the current pace. So I almost feel like I’m beatboxing with the amount of consonants I have to spit out to make the text understandable.

When it comes to Monostatos as a character, it’s very difficult to portray someone who is very vile towards women, and also display humanistic traits and deeper feelings for Pamina whom he loves so much but doesn’t know not how to approach it appropriately. .

Either way, trying to get across is a difficult and vocally demanding balance as a performer to bring about the required emotional shifts he goes through.

What do you think people would be most surprised to learn about opera?

The most surprising thing about opera is how relatable it is. Even now, in the times in which we live. It’s so interesting that an opera composed in the early 1900s or the mid to late 1800s can travel through time to the present day and still be applicable.

I think opera is the quintessence of being human. It shows us the ups and downs and the comedy of it all, but it can also be incredibly dramatic and shocking at the same time and the music helps facilitate that.

■ Don’t miss the return of live opera February 15-21 at the Napier City Theater in conjunction with Art Deco Weekend! Book now through Ticketek.co.nz