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The Cleveland Orchestra showcases history of opera at Severance Hall in innovative MagicBox® Interactive Display

Opera exhibit on display this week through performances of the Orchestra’s made-for-Cleveland production of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in January 2019

CLEVELAND — In anticipation of its made-for-Cleveland production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos presented by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra on January 13, 17, and 19, the Orchestra will showcase the history of opera at Severance Hall in its MagicBox® interactive display from Thursday, November 15, to Saturday, January 19. Available pre- and post-concert and during intermission, the free exhibit will include photos, videos, artifacts, and content spanning from the 1930s to present day. Information about the 2019 production of Ariadne auf Naxos is available online at this link:  

The Cleveland Orchestra’s new MagicBox® technology — an innovative display case with an interactive touch screen — allows guests to engage with and experience artifacts of the Orchestra’s vibrant history and programming. With the MagicBox®, Severance Hall concertgoers and visitors will get a close-up look at treasures from The Cleveland Orchestra Archives, interact with photos, and experience rich video content.

Artifacts featured in the MagicBox® will include original annotated prompt books from the United States premiere of Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, performed at Severance Hall in 1935 under music director Artur Rodzinski, and an opera scrapbook with news clippings and photos of the celebrated premiere. On the touch screen, guests can interact with a variety of content:

  • Photos of fully staged opera productions presented throughout the 1930s at Severance Hall. 
  • Pages from the Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District prompt books and scrapbook.
  • Videos of Cleveland Orchestra Archivist Andria Hoy and Chief Artistic Officer Mark Williams in conversation about the history of opera at Severance Hall and the operas presented during Franz Welser-Möst’s tenure. A playlist of these videos can be found on YouTube at
  • Production Diary Videos from the upcoming made-for-Cleveland production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, featuring Franz Welser-Möst and director Frederic Wake-Walker. To watch these videos on YouTube, visit

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share the rich history of opera at Severance Hall, and our new MagicBox® is a wonderful way to allow our patrons to explore and learn more through video content,” said Cleveland Orchestra Archivist Andria Hoy. “This rare opera exhibit gives a glimpse into the extensive Cleveland Orchestra Archives, which has a vast permanent collection of objects, recordings, and printed materials — including fascinating items such as our Grammy awards, glasses worn by Anton Dvořák, and George Szell’s batons. Our ambition, as we begin our second century, is to share so much more of our extraordinary history with  the public by curating new exhibits regularly in Severance Hall’s Green Room, Ong Gallery, and Lerner Gallery, and of course in the MagicBox®.”

Exhibits featured in the MagicBox® will rotate throughout the concert season to give visitors and audiences a deeper understanding of concert programming and the Orchestra’s past, present, and future. To see the MagicBox® in action, watch this video featuring Cleveland Orchestra Archivist, Andria Hoy:

The MagicBox® and opera exhibit is located next to the Bogomolny Kozerefski Grand Foyer near the entrance to the concert hall and is available to view during concert hours. For concert information and tickets, visit or call the Ticket Office at 216-231-1111.

About the MagicBox®
MagicBox® is an innovative display cabinet that merges the physical and the digital, creating fascinating new ways of presenting original and animated content. Print publications, usually limited to a look-only display spread, will now be fully tangible at the fingertips of the audience. Physical objects can be combined with video or interactive 3D renderings to enhance the understanding of their functionality. The MagicBox® enriches exhibitions not only with additional information, but by making them truly memorable experiences. MagicBox® has been displayed at such locations as Cleveland Public Library, the New York Philharmonic, University of Florida, Georgia State University, University of North Dakota, National Library of Vietnam, Leica Camera, Irish Distillers, Slovak National Library, University of Belgrade, Leuven University, Gold Coast Libraries, Guinness, Lancaster University, and more.

In recent months, the MagicBox® exhibit showcased the early history of Severance Hall. Artifacts on display included the Hall’s cornerstone-laying trowel that Mr. Severance used, the first guest artist signature book, and the music score of Charles Martin Loeffler’s Evocation — a work commissioned for the opening of Severance Hall. Exhibits featured in the MagicBox® will rotate throughout the concert season to give visitors and audiences a deeper understanding of concert programming and the Orchestra’s past, present, and future. To see the MagicBox® in action, watch this video featuring Cleveland Orchestra Archivist, Andria Hoy:

About The Cleveland Orchestra Archives
The Archives of The Cleveland Orchestra is a working resource center that serves both the institution and the public. Its prime function is to organize, preserve, and promote the historical records of the institution, which includes The Cleveland Orchestra and its parent non-profit organization, the Musical Arts Association, as well as materials related to Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. The institution’s historical heritage is expressed in a wide variety of media such as documents, sound recordings, photographic materials, and artifacts. The Archives encourages an appreciation of the Orchestra’s historical heritage by making most of its non-current records open to serious researchers of any age. Researchers are able to consult such materials as correspondence, press releases, a near-complete set of programs, photos, scrapbooks, minutes, and annual reports. For more information and to view Cleveland Orchestra Archives content online, visit

Calendar Listing


Sunday, January 13, 2019, at 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 19, 2019, at 8:00 p.m.

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Frederic Wake-Walker, director – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Tamara Wilson, soprano (Ariadne/Diva) – Severance Hall debut
Andreas Schager, tenor (Bacchus/Tenor)
Daniela Fally, soprano (Zerbinetta) – Cleveland Orchestra debut
Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano (Composer)

RICHARD STRAUSS  Ariadne Auf Naxos — Cleveland Orchestra premiere

Opera Presentation, sung in German with projected subtitles

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