During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.
Filled with ritual and symbolism, Mozart's final masterpiece is a playful but profound look at man's search for love and his struggle to attain wisdom and virtue. From the virtuosic arias ... See full summary »
Stanley M. Garner
The Queen of the Night offers her daughter Pamina to Tamino, but he has to bring her back from her father and priest Sarastro. She gives a magic flute to Tamino and magic bells to the bird ... See full summary »
I love this production of The Magic Flute, and it is my personal favourite of all the productions I've seen of this magnificent opera, and I have seen quite a few. The Magic Flute has a wonderful story that never fails to captivate me when I see it, the characters I fell in love with immediately yes even with Queen of the Night and Mozart's music is up there with his very best work with highlights being the Queen of the Night Aria(a colouratura tour-de-force), Papagaeno's aria, Sarastro's aria as he comforts Pamina and gives her advice and the heartbreakingly-poignant Ah ich fuhl.
This 2003 production looks positively radiant. The sets are beautiful, the lighting is atmospheric and the costumes are eye-popping especially Queen of the Night which makes her even more regal and chilling. The singing and acting is top notch and further complimented by excellent orchestra playing, conducting and direction.
Willi Hartmann is an appealing and heroic Tamino, while Dorothea Roschmann is quite stunning with a heartfelt voice and acting ability. Franz-Josef Selig is very noble and firm as Sarastro, the three ladies are beautifully blended not to mention strikingly beautiful and threatening, Aillish Tynan is witty and playful as Papagaena and the three boys also surprised me in the angelic tones to their voices. Two performances made this for me.
First, Simon Keenleyside, I loved his Papagaeno, always entertaining with a great voice to match. Second, and more so, Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night, she is superb with a very flexible voice with even more impressive projection and diction and a presence that sends chills down your spine, Roschmann actually looked genuinely frightened of her and it is not hard to see why.
I agree the comic side of Monastatos is slightly overplayed, but that isn't enough to hurt what is a brilliant production that I cannot recommend highly enough. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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