THE choice of Mozart’s last opera, The Magic Flute, for York Opera’s spring production was prompted partly by a desire to accommodate the many female soloists in the company.

“Many operas, like many plays, tend to have a predominance of male roles, and our directors are regularly saddened to have to disappoint so many good sopranos, mezzos and altos,” says publicist Pauline Marshall.

“The Magic Flute, however, has no fewer than nine female roles, and our stage director, John Soper, and musical director, Alasdair Jamieson, have assembled a strong line-up.”

Heather Watts leads the company as the Queen Of Night; Hilary Minford plays Pamina and Jenny Grant, Papagena. The Queen’s three Ladies are Julia Ledger, Rosy Jamieson and Maggie Soper and the three Genii are Sue Lindley, Catherine Thornton and Rebecca Smith.

• The Magic Flute will be performed at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, on May 12, 13, 15 and 16 at 7.15pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or online at