Alumni Gather for Gluck and Mozart

Author:  | Friday, December 20th, 2019 | 

Schlagwörter »  |  Category: News

Friends of Freiburg University returned to the Metropolitan Opera this fall to sample two great works by famous German-speaking composers: Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

In November, Friends of Freiburg caught the Met Opera’s final stunning performance of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (yes, the inspiration for Hadestown). The performance was preceded by an opera talk at the apartment of Friends of Freiburg board member, alumna, and resident opera expert, Sarah Stephens. The stunning show followed Orfeo’s pursuit of his love, Euridice, into the Underworld to return her to the world of the living. One of the most intriguing and visually engaging aspects of the show was the chorus of figures in the Underworld: a collection of historical “who’s who” perched in galleries overlooking the main action on stage, which Stephens highlighted in her introduction. After the performance, a number of alumni gathered across the street at Cafe Fiorellos for a lively discussion rehashing the show. We were especially honored to be joined by Dr. Joachim Frank — the 2017 Nobel laureate in chemistry, Freiburg alumnus, and 2018 annual gala dinner keynote — at this gathering.

December then offered the opportunity to attend the Met Opera’s special holiday staging of The Magic Flute. Stephens provided
a delightful brunch spread in her apartment, and after the crowd helped themselves to bagels and lox, she explained the fascinating history and context behind The Magic Flute. Although the exotic tale, filled with twisting storylines, magic, and Masonic references, can seem intimidating to an amateur opera goer, through Stephens’ lecture, we learned that the broad arc of the story can be understood as a simple “damsel in distress” storyline — and that we have all heard the famous “Queen of the Night” aria, even if it was in a commercial! In addition to Freiburg alumni, we were joined by a number of German students from Hunter College in New York for the occasion. After Stephens’ informative lecture, it was off to the Met for a fabulous performance embellished with lively puppetry and delightfully whimsical costumes. Thanks to everyone who closed out 2019 with Friends of Freiburg at our final event of the year!

The next Friends of Freiburg University trip to the opera will take place on March 21 for Wagner’s Der fliegende Höllander – The Flying Dutchman. Email us at to reserve tickets today!

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