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McCallens and Loughlins Hear The Magic Flute’s Siren Call

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The Met Opera: The Festive Sound of The Magic Flute
Thursday, December 7, 2017

The St. John's Alumni Christmas season began on a dazzling note as more than 70 members and guests of The McCallen and Loughlin Societies enjoyed a performance of The Magic Flute, sung in English, at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center.

Attendees took in the seasonal favorite on November 30, 2017, which was preceded by an exclusive reception and a three-course dinner at the Met's Grand Tier Restaurant. The comical singspiel form of the opera provided a lighthearted tale of love, courage and wisdom prevailing over evil forces.

The design elements drew some raves, as did soprano Kathryn Lewek, who portrayed the Queen of the Night. Gerard Fernandez Jr. '50L, a member of The McCallen Society, expressed much appreciation for the performance and praised Ms. Lewek.

The event was organized by the Office of Gift Planning and drew new faces among the familiar alumni.

Florence C. Maloney ’78Ed.D., another McCallen member, said it was a “wonderful evening,” and thanked Susan M. Damiani ’87CBA, Director, Office of Gift Planning, for her efforts, and Nigel W. Gretton, Director of Performing Arts at St. John’s University, for assisting her throughout the night.

“The Lincoln Center is remarkable,” she said. “There was so much attention to detail given to the evening.” With the city enveloped in holiday gridlock, the bus transportation provided from the Queens campus to the Met was especially appreciated.

“It was a delightful affair. Not only was the opera interesting, but the whole evening was magical,” said the Hon. Nancy Mottola Schacher ’46UC, ’47L, a member of The McCallen Society.

She explained that being a member of the society allows former alumni and friends of the University to stay in touch. “I think it is nice to get together with former students and people you knew while attending St. John’s. The camaraderie is always delightful.”

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