This is probably the best way to see this opera live. Formally a concert performance, the costumed cast treat the concert hall as a stage. Luckily the Concertgebouw (in Amsterdam, one of the world's great concert halls) has a number of different routes to the stage which are all thoughtfully used by the director, the conductor himself.
There's a reason for this musico/dramatic auteurism. The main attraction of this piece is the deceptively simple, charming music: in a piece such as this that's difficult to stage, the music director is trusting to it to create the drama on its own. It's a top notch rendition, the fully visible period instrument English Baroque Soloists really raising their game in a performance of great drama, punch, comedy, romance and touching piety.
From Cynthis Sieden's sharp queen of the night to Christina's Oelze's warm, feminine Pamina the cast are well balanced with the orchestra. Most enjoyable is the stage stealing comic turn of Gerald Finley's Papageno, who even accompanies himself on his glockenspiel.
It's a well-captured film of this staging, unobtrusive and faithfully relaying the simple lighting changes. Sung (very well!) in German. 6/10
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