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the face behind the puppets.

Ida Street Archives

the face behind the puppets.

Annie Heath

 (photos by Phil Groshong)

(photos by Phil Groshong)

She has curly red hair and porcelain skin like a doll's. But you won't notice this petite, energetic woman on stage- you will be too busy watching her furry co-stars. Meet Karie Gipson,

The Magic Flute's very own puppet instructor. Karie is one of Cincinnati Opera's supernumeraries (a "super" is a nonspeaking, nonsinging role in opera). But even though you won't hear her voice, Karie has a very important job- she gives life to the puppets.

"We call him Woody," she says as she describes her favorite puppet in the show. "He's the small pink and white bird. I like him because I can give him a lot of expression and personality." Woody is one of two hand puppets in the show.

The Magic Flute also stars several rod bird puppets that flap their wings via a stick attached to their bodies, two six foot flamingos, and one enormous dragon with light-up eyes operated by eight puppeteers...

read more here!