I count my blessings that I taped this Danish production of The Magic Flute when it was broadcast on national television. It's a beautiful version, with many great singers. In my experience the most charismatic and entertaining character is always Papageno, and Palle Knudsen's bird catcher is indeed amazingly and memorably acted. Special mention must also go to Susanne Elmark's remarkable Queen of the Night, which is delivered with flawless beauty and admirable self-confidence. Stephen Milling's Sarastro is also of classic quality, appropriately bulky and authoritative.
However, having watched the tape several times, the singularly most enchanting aspect of this production is Kari Postma's Pamina, who is surely the cutest and most delightful Pamina ever seen in modern times. Complete with a charming Norwegian accent, she is the greatest bonus offered by an already excellent production.
This production is sung in Danish. The translation seems excellent, but even for a native Danish speaker it is almost as hard to hear the words as when this opera is performed in German (or English, for that matter). The speaking parts are understandable, but much of the singing is so hard to make out that it would be a good thing to have subtitles. If this production ever makes it to DVD, I do hope they include subtitles.
9 out of 10.
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