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WCSU music students to play ‘Three Spirits’ in Yale Opera’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

Image of WCSU students Christine Manalo, Natalie Andrews and Serena Valentin as the Three Spirits in "The Magic Flute"
(l-r): WCSU students Christine Manalo, Natalie Andrews and Serena Valentin as the Three Spirits in “The Magic Flute”

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University Music students Natalie Andrews, Christine Manalo and Serena Valentin will perform the roles of the Three Spirits in Yale Opera presents Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (The Magic Flute) from Feb. 16-18, 2018, at the Shubert Theater, 247 College St. in New Haven.

Andrews, of Salem; Manalo, of Watertown; and Valentin, of Niantic; are music education majors. They learned of the opportunity to audition from WCSU Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup after they appeared as the Three Spirits in a scene of “The Magic Flute” in December at WestConn.

Astrup is pleased that her students were able to seize this opportunity.

“Appearing in supporting roles with Yale Opera is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” she said. “They will be performing with students from the prestigious Graduate Opera Program at Yale, many of whom have already appeared professionally with major opera companies. It is a wonderful collaborative experience for our students. They also will be working with a stage director and conductor of national renown. They are thrilled with this opportunity, as I am for them, and they will have many supporters and fans from WCSU in the audience!”

Valentin expressed excitement when speaking of landing the role. “First of all, I still cannot fully believe that we have the opportunity to perform with such amazing professional singers. It was a fortunate coincidence that Natalie, Christine and I had just performed a scene from ‘The Magic Flute’ for our opera class, so we already knew the audition music. When our teacher told us about the audition, we figured we would give it a shot! Now we are fortunate enough to be a part of a high-level production of a classic opera. Not only do we get to perform in an incredible theater, but we get to learn from a talented and experienced cast of singers. I am so grateful and excited.”

Andrews agreed. “The cast has been so kind and welcoming, and we’ve enjoyed working with and learning from such talented trained musicians. I could not be more excited and grateful for this experience.”

Yale’s new production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” is directed by Yale School of Drama alumnus Dustin Wills. Israel Gursky will conduct the Yale Philharmonia in this timeless tale of a hero’s journey to enlightenment. The performance is sung in German with projected English supertitles.

“The Magic Flute” will be presented at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18. Andrews, Manalo and Valentin will appear in all three performances.

Tickets are available online, by calling the Shubert Box Office at (203) 562-5666 or visiting in person on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and prior to all performances.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.