Put on by Opera Australia and with the same designer/director as the massively successful The Lion King (Julia Taymor) The Magic Flute entertains both adults and children equally.
It’s not as highbrow as other Mozart operas like Don Giovani and Marriage of Figaro, and has a more ‘common man’ feel about it. Mozart wanted everyone to do it in the language of their nation, thus why it’s in English and not German. The translator has worked the text so it’s Australia-friendly, so it’s communicated at its best to the people sitting there listening to it.
“We’ve truncated the opera so it’s shorter in time, so the kids won’t get distracted. We’ve taken out a little bit here and there just to keep the drama moving. The adults will love it because the music’s sublime,” explained the principal soprano Taryn Fiegbig, who plays Pamina in this love story. “The set’s incredible. It’s on a revolving stage so it’s forever moving and there’s always something to look at. There are huge puppets operated by up to six people. It is larger than life and fanciful with a real sense of fairy-tale and dreaming. The Magic Flute is written with Masonic symbolism in it [Mozart was a member of Freemasonry] in the chords the number three is very important, there are lots of bells in lots of three.”
A full orchestra plays, everything is live, nothing is amplified, and it is just played as is. Everyone will be overcome by the music. This production is reproduced by Opera Australia from the original production of The Magic Flute by the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
“Kids really get into fantasy, and for those of them up to about the age of six it’s not fantasy, it’s real. In that aspect it’s gorgeous,” said Fiebig.
“The set, the costumes, the lighting, the music––everything compliments each other. Its a fantastic cast, we’ve all worked together before so there’s a real camaraderie there. That makes for us a great experience on stage which makes for a great experience for the audience,” she added. (MS)
Dec 30–Jan 14. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. $44-$149. Tickets & info: opera.org.au or (02) 9318 8200