Ryan Chartrand

When 2006 Cal Poly graduate Jessica Reed left San Luis Obispo for Boston in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in music, she had high hopes of entering the professional opera world upon graduation.

But that time has come sooner than expected – Reed will be making her professional debut tonight in the Mozart Festival Opera’s performance of Mozart’s, “The Magic Flute.”

“This is a dream come true for me – to make a professional debut on my home stage,” she said. “I definitely didn’t except it to come this soon.”

Reed first met “The Magic Flute” director Giorgio Lalov last February during a master’s class – a special class in which selected music students perform for and are critiqued by professionals. Last year, Lalov had been impressed with Reed’s talent, informing her that she was “ready to enter the profession world.”

At that pivotal coffee meeting, he turned this praise into a reality, offering Reed a chance to perform with the company at both Cal Poly tonight and again in Boston on March 6.

“Luckily my school (the New England Conservatory of Music) really values hands-on experience, much like Cal Poly,” Reed said. “So they really value us going out to get professional experience while we’re still students.”

The Mozart Festival Opera – sister company of Teatro Lirico D’Europa – made its U.S. debut in fall 2003. Since then, the company has successfully completed tours of “Don Giovanni” and “Le Nozzle di Figaro,” adding “The Magic Flute” to its repertoire this year.

“The Magical Flute,” or “Die Zauberflote,” is the whimsical love story of the Egyptian prince Tamino with a magical flute and a bird catcher Papageno, who are on a somewhat perilous quest for love. Reed will be performing the comic role of Papageno.

The work will feature a 50-piece orchestra, a full-operatic chorus and internationally renowned soloists. The opera will be presented in the original German with English subtitles projected above the stage.

Music department lecturer Jacalyn Kreitzer will conduct a pre-show lecture on the opera at 7 p.m. in the Philips Hall in the Performing Arts Center.

“I will be giving the synopsis for Mozart’s opera “Magic Flute” or, in German, “Die Zauberflote,” Kreitzer wrote in an e-mail interview. ” Mozart was a Mason, as was his father, and I will be explaining the Masonic, esoteric significance of the opera.”

Showing in Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center, the opera will begin its one-night performance at 8 tonight.

Tickets for the performance range from $42 to $54, with student discounts available. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center ticket office, at www.pacslo.org, or by calling (805) 756-2787.

There will be a student rush an hour before the show begins where tickets will be $5 with a valid PolyCard.

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