Die Zauberflote(The Magic Flute) has always been one of my favourites. And this is a great production, funny, charming and very fairy-tale like. I was rather mixed on the costumes though, Papagaeno's reminds me of Peter Pan, Sarastro's is noble, the three boys' are charming and the animals' costumes look great. But Tamino and Pamina look ridiculous, the Queen of the Night's could have been more sinister and the three ladies look as though they've just come from a glitzy disco. However I loved the colourful fairy-tale look feel of the production, and the video directing and sound are also great. The orchestral playing is buoyant as well as having pathos, while the conducting is quick without feeling rushed and the chorus sing robustly. The dialogue generally is well-rehearsed and delivered. The staging is creative and entertaining. Of the singing, which is of a high standard, the standout is Desiree Rancantore's Queen of the Night, the high notes come so easy to her and she's a great actress. Piotr Beczala is also a charming Tamino with a lovely lyric tenor voice, and Matti Salminen sings and acts firmly as Sarastro. Dorothea Roschmann sings beautifully though her costume does her no favours, while Detlof Roth is a humorous Papagaeno, Gaele Le Roi is wonderful as Papagaena(her Old Lady guise is truly inspired), Wolfgang Schone's Speaker is vocally sonorous and Uwe Pepper is wonderfully oily as Monostatos. The three ladies are chilling and the three boys are adorable and I've rarely heard better singing from this particular trio. Overall, a great Magic Flute. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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