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 »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Piotr Beczala ...
Kathleen Hatch ...
Crocoguin
Dina Kuznetsova ...
Christopher Maltman ...
Erika Miklósa ...
Colin Torkelsen ...
Rhinolean
Georg Zeppenfeld ...
Sarastro
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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 of the Queen of the Night to the folksong-like melodies of the bird catcher Papageno, the full range of Mozart's miraculous talent is on display in this magical fairy-tale opera, "designed gloriously by Gerald Scarfe" (San Francisco Examiner). Donald Runnicles conducts an enchanting cast headed by soprano Dina Kuznetsova, who is "a poignant Pamina, her dark, sumptuous tone lending an air of majesty to the performance" (San Francisco Chronicle); and the lauded lyric tenor Piotr Beczala, who "seems born for Tamino" singing with a voice "exactly of the right weight and timbre.... Hungarian soprano Erika Miklósa is superb as Queen of the Night...not only nailing the impossibly demanding coloratura acrobatics, but singing it beautifully as well" (San Francisco Examiner). As Papageno, Christopher Maltman ... Written by Anonymous

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November 2007 (USA)  »

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Beautifully sung on the whole and very imaginative
3 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Die Zauberflote(The Magic Flute) may not be a perfect opera but it is one that I have a huge soft spot for, as I do love the music and it was an opera I performed in the chorus for. This San Francisco chorus is not one of my favourite productions of the opera, but it is definitely worth watching for a variety of reasons. The costumes and settings mayn't be for all tastes perhaps, Tamino's make-up and such for example will take some getting used to, but especially with Queen of the Night they are mostly imaginative and colourful. Even better is the staging, potential problems are solved, it is always compelling and the fantastical creatures will charm and enchant anybody of all ages.

Musically the production is excellent, with assured and musical orchestral playing, freely commanding conducting and robust chorus singing. Erika Miklosa stands out among the principals as Queen of the Night, over-the-top with a knack of dominating the stage whenever she appears. Her Der Halle Roche drips with vengeful authority, and vocally she is very thrilling with her technique focused and her high notes right-on. Piotr Beczala is in another role I consider thankless, but you don't feel that watching or hearing him. His presence is self-assured and powerful, and as ever the honeyed lyricism of his voice is still there. Dina Kuznetsova's Pamina is of pure radiance, with a lovely rounded voice and an incredibly poignant in all counts Ach Ich Fuhls.

Not quite as good are Christopher Maltman and Georg Zeppenfeld. Maltman has a strong voice and plays Papagaeno with charm and good command of the stage with he does lack some of the humorous wit of other Papagaenos. Zeppenfeld has an authoritative and noble presence, but his voice has been more sonorous before, his basso notes do lack resonance sometimes. All in all, imaginative and well sung but not one of my favourite Magic Flutes. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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