“The Magic Flute: A Theatrical Masterpiece with Modern Technology and Handiwork”

The show has previously delighted audiences in London, Amsterdam, Aix-en-Provence, Basel and Bergen. Actor and director, theater companies Complicity frontman Simon McBurney is a master of stage miracles. The Magic Flute he masterfully combines elements of improvisation and physical theater, aerial stunts and acrobatics.

An important role in the production is played by video projections made in real time by the artist Blake Haberman (his drawings created during the performance are projected on the screen), as well as sound and special effects, which are the responsibility of the artist Ruta Sullivan. She works in her lab on the left side of the stage. The imaginative, playfully innovative performance fascinates with the fact that modern technology coexists with “handiwork” in it – the magic of the theater is born here and now, in front of the audience’s eyes.

When creating the production, Simon McBurney has thought about Magic Flutes creation history: this opera by Mozart and librettist Emanuel Schikaneder was intended not for aristocrats, but for the general public. Magic Flutes the premiere in 1791 took place not in a court theater, but in the Viennese theater directed by Schikaneder Theater on the Wieden, which attracted a diverse audience. The characters and symbols encoded in the opera tend to be interpreted in different ways, but Simon McBurney wants to return to simplicity and give the audience “something of the same surprise and joy as it was back in 1791”.

The sound effects used in this production are a reference to the innovations used in the theater of Šikaneder: at the end of the 18th century, the voices of birds were imitated, the sounds of thunder and rain were created there. Bird voices, forest, stream and wind sounds are also in Simon McBurney’s performance (about a hundred loudspeakers are placed in different places in the Metropole Opera Hall). The famous five-note melody of the bird catcher Papageno (the first performer of this role was Schikaneder himself) turns into a mobile phone ringtone. “The use of sound effects creates a magical world, though Magic Flutes in the center are real human problems,” emphasizes the director. According to him, in this work, Mozart meditates on the idea that music itself changes consciousness.

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The performance takes place with a raised orchestra pit – this allows some instrumentalists to be more actively involved in the performance of the opera. For example, Papageno interacts with a cellist during his second aria. Scenographer Michael Levine recalls that in the 18th century, orchestra musicians were not hidden from the audience. Director Simon McBurney adds that Mozart has expressed what is most important to him in this opera: “The Magic Flute was created shortly after the beginning of the Great French Revolution, the whole of Europe changed then. Mozart died a few months later Magic Flutes premieres in the fullness of their creative powers. The Magic Flute is both fantastical and political. Opera is a social commentary as well as a great flight of imagination. When creating the production, I wanted to be sure that I was listening Magic Flutes in a heartbeat.”

Erin Morley (Pamina), Laurence Brownlee (Tamino), Thomas Olimans (Papageno), Catherine Leveque (Queen of the Night), Brenton Ryan (Monostatos) and Stephen Milling (Zarastro) will sing in the show.

Information: metopera.org, forumcinemas.lv

2023-05-31 18:20:47
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