Skip to main content

‘The Magic Flute’ among Bienen School winter opera and voice offerings

Alumnus and rising opera star Kangmin Justin Kim returns Jan. 25 to coach vocal students

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A master class with one of America’s most sought-after young countertenors and an operatic fairy tale by Mozart are highlights of the winter voice and opera season at Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music.

Bienen alumnus Kangmin Justin Kim (’11) will coach vocal students Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. in Galvin Recital Hall as part of the Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series.

Northwestern University Opera Theater’s production of Mozart’s beloved classic “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”) will be presented Feb. 23 to 26 in Cahn Auditorium. In this staging of the opera told through the lens of the Chinese yin and yang philosophy, the abduction of a princess turns a lush paradise to a barren and frigid landscape until a handsome prince, with the help of a magic flute, can rescue her and restore balance to the land. 

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 847-467-4000 or by visiting the Bienen School Ticket Office at 50 Arts Circle Drive.

Program details follow:

Kangmin Justin Kim Vocal Master Class
7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 25
Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive
Tickets are $10 or $5 for full-time students with valid ID

The Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series continues with a vocal coaching by countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim ’11. One of the most sought-after countertenors of his generation, Kim has earned recognition for his roles in Baroque repertoire, contemporary music and Mozart’s trouser roles. The 2021-22 season saw his return to the Vienna State Opera for Hans Werner Henze’s “Das verratene Meer” (“The Betrayed Sea”); his highly anticipated role debut as Knusperhexe in Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hänsel und Gretel” at Theater Wiesbaden; and his Santa Fe Opera debut in the title role of the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s “M. Butterfly.” His 2022-23 season opened with a return to Venice as Hyacinthus in Teatro La Fenice’s new staging of Mozart’s “Apollo et Hyacinthus” at Teatro Malibran. In this master class, Kim will coach Bienen School voice and opera program students. 

Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”)
7:30 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, Feb. 23-25, and 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26
Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Street
Tickets are $18 or $8 for full-time students with valid ID

A handsome prince and an abducted princess are caught between the warring forces of the Queen of the Night and the Priests of the Sun, but the powers of the magic flute —and the help of the bird catcher Papageno — lead the young lovers to truth and light. For over 200 years, Mozart’s operatic fairy tale has delighted young and old alike with its fantastic mix of intriguing symbolism, spirited comedy and ravishing music.

Northwestern University Opera Theater’s production is directed by Bienen School director of opera Joachim Schamberger with guest artist Andrew Bisantz conducting the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.

Artist Bios: 

Kangmin Justin Kim was born in South Korea and grew up in Chicago, studying voice, opera and musical theater at Northwestern University and London’s Royal Academy of Music. He made his professional operatic debut in 2013 as Prince Orlofsky in “Die Fledermaus” at Paris’ Opéra Comique. Since that time, his many engagements have included appearances as Cherubino in Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Nerone in Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea” at the Staatsoper Berlin; and Speranza in Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” at festivals and venues worldwide, including the Salzburg Festival, New York’s Lincoln Center, the Edinburgh Festival, Lucerne Festival and Venice’s Teatro La Fenice. Upcoming season engagements include appearances as Amanzio in Vivaldi’s “Il Giustino” in Basel and Amsterdam; as Ruggiero in Handel’s “Alcina” at the National Theatre Brno; and a role reprise as Neroni in Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea” with Opéra National du Rhin. Read the profile story “Finding the Right Voice,” in Northwestern Magazine (Fall 2021).

Director Joachim Schamberger’s productions have appeared in the U.S., Germany, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Norway, Israel, Japan and China. An avid opera educator, he is on the faculty at many young artist festivals and guest lectures at conservatories throughout the world. Prior to becoming director of opera and artist-in-residence at the Bienen School, he served as visiting professor of opera at DePauw University. Schamberger is a graduate of the Musikhochschule in Würzburg, the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim and the Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera. He studied digital film production and 3-D animation at the New York Film Academy. 

Andrew Bisantz is the music director of Eugene Opera, with conducting credits including Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Le nozze di Figaro”; Puccini’s “La bohème”; Bizet’s “Carmen”; John Adams’ “Nixon in China”; Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking”; and Verdi’s “La traviata.” In the 2022-23 season, his conducting engagements include Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” with Opera Tampa; Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” with Eugene Opera; and Lee Hoiby’s “Summer and Smoke” for SUNY Fredonia. Bisantz previously served as associate conductor of Florida Grand Opera and assistant conductor at Glimmerglass Opera. He earned his bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Fredonia State College and completed his master of music degree in orchestral conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music.