Seeing The Magic Flute — or any opera — has been the long-held dream of Red Deer senior Mary Rose Lunam.
Her wish will come true on Friday when Lunam is bused, along with 19 residents from her Timberstone Mews retirement complex, to Edmonton to watch a performance of the comic opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Lunam can already imagine the lavish period costumes, the colourful set and beautiful music by Mozart.
But she believes the icing on the cake will be seeing the title role of Prince Tamino in The Magic Flute played by the grandson of her friend Marlene Steppler — who will also be travelling on the same bus to Edmonton to catch the performance at the University of Alberta.
“It should be a lot of fun travelling up there together,” said Lunam, with a wide smile.
Marlene Steppler admits she was planning to go see her grandson’s performance, anyway, but feels it will more enjoyable watching it with a group of her fellow residents from the Red Deer retirement home.
Laren Steppler, is a well known Red Deer performer and graduate of the Red Deer College Music Program. Before continuing his vocal training at the U of A, Laren had performed solo concerts around the region and was also part of the nostalgic rock ‘n’ roll Time Machine productions that brought popular tunes from the 1960s to the ’80s to audiences at the Scott Block.
Lunam had made her wish to see an opera known as part of a Christmas-time Dream a Little Dream contest, initiated by the chaplain of the retirement home.
All seniors living independently at Timberstone Mews were told they could submit a wish. These submissions were later shortlisted and a do-able dream was chosen for fulfillment, says Brooke Adler, a receptionist at the facility. She believes Lunam’s wish was picked because it also benefits other seniors — and also because the grandson of another resident is in the operatic production.
Lunam was always a lover of all sorts of music, but had little opportunity to see an opera performed live while living Grande Prairie — which is far from any centre with an opera company.
She moved to Red Deer in 2015 to be halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, where most of her family members now live.
While Lunam’s husband also lives at Timberstone Mews, she admits he won’t be taking the bus to Edmonton on Friday as he has no interest whatsoever in opera.