Turner-Fischer Center For Opera Wins Seventh Consecutive NOA Scenes Award

By Cullen Sadler

January 09, 2024

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Turner-Fischer Center for Opera was awarded First Place (Division II) at the National Opera Association's Robert Hansen Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition for their performance of the second act quintet from Mozart's "The Magic Flute" (Die Zauberflöte), the College of Music & Dramatic Arts announced Tuesday.

Following a preliminary judging round of submitted video, four finalist programs in each size division were invited to the National Opera Association's annual conference, held in Tempe, Arizona, for a live performance of their selected scene. LSU's performing cast in Tempe consisted of Kyle Melton, Yonathan T. Astatke, Chuyan Luo, Sydney Sorbet, and Anna Safko.

This is the 13th national award garnered by the Turner-Fischer Center for Opera in the last five years, including multiple previous American Prize placements and additional accolades from the National Opera Association.

"All of us at the Turner-Fischer Center for Opera are extremely grateful to again be honored by the National Opera Association," said Dugg McDonough, Fruehan Associate Professor of Opera and Artistic Director of the Turner-Fischer Center. "We are extremely proud of this nationally recognized tradition for our students, our program, our college, and our university."

musicians on stage

Cast members from the "Turner-Fischer Center Presents: The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte)" perform at the production's original Baton Rouge premiere in October 2023.

Considered a timeless staple of opera repertoire, Mozart's "The Magic Flute" – or "Die Zauberflöte" in the original German – spins a classic fantasy fairytale as Prince Tamino and the charming bird-catcher Papageno embark on a quest to rescue the beautiful Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night. The production is a "Singspiel," a form of music drama weaving together singing and spoken dialogue.

The Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU, one of the first major university programs in the United States, has produced exceptional singers who have sung on world opera stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and New York City Opera. LSU annually produces two main stage productions, fully staged, designed, costumed, and accompanied by members of the LSU Symphony Orchestra, alongside smaller, staged shows and numerous outreach performance opportunities.