Papageno in “The Magic Flute” at Virginia Opera

November 26th, 2013

The Washington Times

“Baritone David Pershall’s bird man, Pagageno, stole every comic scene he was in, aided considerably by the company’s spruced-up English language libretto which, in the spoken scenes, allowed him to ham it up like a night club comedian, an opportunity he never failed to exploit. An added plus: his fine, strong baritone and amusingly effective phrasing demonstrated his considerable vocal skill set as well.”

WHRO 90.3 FM’s “From the other side of the Footlights.”

“Baritone David Pershall nearly stole the show as Papageno, the bird catcher in search of a girlfriend, who is reluctantly drafted into helping Tamino. Pershall, who was the island chief Zurga in last year’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, had all the chops: hearty voice, believable acting and lively movement.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Baritone David Pershall, another Virginia Opera favorite, acts as well as he sings as the Queen of the Night’s bird catcher”


“Pershall fortunately steals most of his scenes with Plenk and matches him musically as well. His final duet with Papagena (Amanda Opuszynski) was especially pleasurable due its strong and satisfied demands on both his musical and dramatic skills.”

Washington Post

“Papageno, played by baritone David Pershall, was a delight, whether reading “Playbird” magazine, humming with his mouth “padlocked” with a pacifier, or being pursued by Amanda Opuszynski’s Papagena in disguise as an elderly woman.”


“[Pershall] is obviously very comfortable in the role, and he sang as well as he acted—impressing particularly in the tragic-hilarious solo in which he considers hanging himself. One of the most enjoyable moments of the evening was when he was finally united with his Papagena, sung and acted with vivacity by soprano Amanda Opuszynski. Their famous duet was sheer delight.”

The Virginian-Pilot

“Experiencing love in a more basic and physical way, the Papageno/Papagena pair of baritone David Pershall and soprano Amanda Opuszynski had strong singing and acting skills. Their robust sound matched their youthful energy. With the much bigger role to play, Pershall showed more sides of his personality, drawing audience empathy.”

Letter V

“[Pershall] brings a fine voice and high energy to the role.”

Courtesy of VA Opera– © David A. Beloff

Courtesy of VA Opera– © David A. Beloff

Tamino • Matthew Plenk
Pamina • Nadine Sierra
Papageno • David Pershall
Queen of the Night • Heather Buck
Sarastro • Kenneth Kellogg
First Lady • Natalie Polito
Second Lady • Courtney Miller
Third Lady • Sarah Williams
Monostatos • Ryan Connelly
Papagena • Amanda Opuszynski
Speaker • Matthew Scollin
First Priest • David Blalock
Second Priest • Andre Chiang
Spirit 1 • Anna Maples
Spirit 2 • Fran Coleman
Spirit 3 • Kristen Choi
First Armored Man • Ben Kwak
Second Armored Man • Matthew Scollin


Conductor • Mark Russell Smith
Director • Michael Shell