'The Magic Flute' is all Kaneko

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Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013 12:00 am

First, he empties his mind. Then Omaha sculptor and painter Jun Kaneko listens to the music — three times a day, hundreds of times, over and over for months. Until something happens. He waits, he says, for the fog to lift. For something to pop out from nowhere, from the middle of his vast imagination. “It's a pretty spontaneous, natural process — to just wait for it. A starting idea,” he said last week in his fourth-floor Old Market studio. Nobody designs opera the way Kaneko does.

The artist's time-consuming process has resulted in a multimedia production of Mozart's “The Magic Flute,” which debuts this weekend as the centerpiece of Opera Omaha's season. That process and its results are unique in the opera world.

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