Magic Flute - Opera Onscreen
Westside Theatre Foundation and Rising Alternative present:
DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (THE MAGIC FLUTE)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Opera in two acts
Sung in German
From Bregenz Festival
Recorded July 2013
Running Time: 149 min
ACT I: 1h 11min | ACT II: 1h 18min
*This production has no intermission. However, it is possible to stop at the end of Act I (71 min), although the cut will be a little rough.
Director David Pountney
Set DesignerJohan Engels
Costume and Puppet DesignerMarie-Jeanne Lecca
Lighting DesignerFabrice Kebour
ChorusPrague Philharmonic Chorus OrchestraVienna Symphony Orchestra
Königin der NachtAna Durlovski
Founded in 1946, Bregenz Festival is a performing arts festival held every July and August. The main stage, named Seebühne (or floating stage) sits over the water on the shores of Lake Constance and has 7,000 seats. In this extravagant location, the lake often becomes an extension of the stage, leading to some of the world's most unique and innovative opera productions. David Pountney has been the artistic director of the festival since December 2003.
Three enormous, 27-metre-high fire-spewing "dragon dogs", a Queen of the Night costume to break all records, three mythical creatures for the three ladies operated by puppeteers, and dozens of stunt artists rushing around the stage: in his staging for the Bregenz Festival, David Pountney offers "a spectacle of the highest caliber" (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), while providing new answers to the eternal questions surrounding The Magic Flute. The Kurier newspaper called it "a visually mind-blowing fairy tale", with Die Welt adding "a colorful as well as smart Magic Flute".
The vocal ensemble leaves nothing to be desired either: Ana Durlovski (voted Singer of the Year by Opernwelt magazine) is captivating as the Queen of the Night with her "flawless coloraturas" (Der Standard), while Norman Reinhardt sings an "outstanding Tamino" (Deutschlandradio) and Eike Wilm Schulte is a deluxe casting as Second Knight. Patrick Summers conducts Mozart's score with the impeccable Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
Tamino, lost in a distant land, faints as he is pursued by a serpent. Suddenly, three ladies appear and kill the serpent. After admiring Tamino for his beauty, they argue about who will tell their mistress, the Queen of the Night, and reluctantly depart. When Tamino wakes, he meets Papageno, a lovelorn bird-catcher who claims credit for saving Tamino. The three ladies reappear and place a padlock over Papageno's mouth as a punishment for lying. They leave Tamino with a portrait of Pamina, the Queen's daughter, and he immediately falls in love. Pamina has been captured by the sorcerer Sarastro, and the ladies return with the Queen to entreat Tamino to rescue Pamina. They remove the padlock from Papageno's mouth and give Tamino a magic flute, which has the power to transform sorrow into joy.
Meanwhile, Pamina is being held captive by Monostatos, a slave of Sarastro. When Papageno discovers Pamina, Monostatos flees and Papageno reveals Tamino's quest to save Pamina. Pamina rejoices at the idea of Tamino's love.
Later, Tamino arrives at Sarastro's temple and is warned by a mysterious voice that he should not trust the Queen. In the dark night, Tamino longs to find Pamina and begins to play his magic flute. Suddenly, Tamino hears Papageno's pipes in the distance and leaves to find him.
Papageno and Pamina are recaptured by Monostatos and brought before Sarastro. Pamina confesses her attempted escape, and Sarastro assures her that he wishes only for her happiness. However, he refuses to return her to her mother. Tamino enters, and the two lovers meet and embrace for the first time. Sarastro announces Tamino must undergo trials of wisdom to prove himself worthy as Pamina's husband.
At the beginning of the act, Sarastro reveals to his priests that he seized Pamina from her mother so that she could be united with Tamino and that the couple will eventually become rulers of the temple. The three ladies reappear, shocked that Tamino has become an ally to Sarastro. They attempt to distract Tamino and Papageno, who are sworn to silence, but Tamino refuses to respond. When the ladies depart, the priests congratulate Tamino for passing the first challenge.
Meanwhile, Monostatos attempts to kiss the sleeping Pamina when the Queen of the Night appears. The furious Queen reveals her true purpose: she orders Pamina to kill Sarastro and threatens to disown her if she does not. When the Queen leaves, Pamina declares she will not murder Sarastro. Sarastro appears, and Pamina begs his forgiveness.
For the next trial, Tamino and Papageno encounter an old woman, who offers the thirsty Papageno a glass of water. As Papageno asks her name, she disappears. Tamino begins to play his flute, which summons Pamina. She tries to speak with him, but Tamino cannot respond. Believing he no longer loves her, Pamina leaves in despair.
Papageno again asks for water, and the old woman returns. When Papageno agrees to marry her, she reveals herself to be the beautiful and young Papagena. Papageno agrees to complete the trials to be her husband. Meanwhile, Pamina contemplates suicide, believing she has lost Tamino's love. Three child-spirits restrain her, reassuring her of Tamino's love and promising to lead her to him.
Two men lead in Tamino, promising enlightenment to those who successfully overcome the fear of death. Tamino hears Pamina's voice and the men affirm that the trial of silence is complete. Pamina enters and declares her intention to undergo the remaining trials with Tamino. Protected by the music of the magic flute, they pass unscathed through trials of fire and water.
Papageno despairs at having lost Papagena and decides to hang himself. Again, the three child-spirits appear and stop him. They advise him to play his magic bells to summon Papagena. She appears and, united, the happy couple dream of the many children they will have together.
The traitorous Monostatos appears with the Queen of the Night and her three ladies. They plot to destroy the temple and the Queen confirms that she has promised her daughter Pamina to Monostatos. However, before the conspirators can enter the temple, they are magically cast out into eternal night. Sarastro announces the sun's triumph over the night. Everyone praises the courage of Tamino and Pamina in enduring their trials, gives thanks to Isis and Osiris and hails the dawn of a new era of wisdom and brotherhood.
Strand Theatre (Vicksburg, Mississippi) (View)
717 Clay Street
Vicksburg, MS 39183
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|