Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) (4 stars)

Komische Oper Berlin’s non-traditional take on Mozart is a must-see

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This article is from 2015.

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

credit: Iko Freese, drama-berlin.de 1

Komische Oper Berlin’s love-or-loathe version of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) is one which may not please stalwart traditionalists but for all-round entertainment appeal it is a winner.

Using the 21st century possibilities of digital technology, what is pretty zany to start with becomes even more of a wacky fantasy world through the fusion of illusion-making animated film and live singing under the creative genius of Barrie Kosky and British theatre company 1927. Using 1920s style silent film set to Mozart piano Fantasias, narrative contrasts against the busy imagery which might be a giant insect colony with the skeletal, spider Queen of the Night at its centre one minute or the flappy white fairy wings that come out of Tamino’s magic flute the next.

Under conductor Kristiina Poska, the orchestra is lean and incisive with the men’s voices of the chorus providing strong backbone. Musically, it is excellently cast. Tamino – Allan Clayton – is a true hero for Maureen McKay’s virtuous Pamina. The coloratura of Olga Pudova’s Queen of the Night was scarily stratospheric while Dominik Köninger as Papageno won sympathy as the funny fall guy. A show to beg, steal or borrow a ticket for.

Festival Theatre, 473 2000, until Sun 30 Aug, 7.15pm, £18.

This article is from 2015.

The Magic Flute

  • 4 stars

Mozart’s masterful comedy is richly reimagined in a boundary-busting production created by director Barrie Kosky and British theatre group 1927, blending animated film and live action in a spectacular kaleidoscope of 1920s silent movies, Weimar cabaret, the dark humour of Edward Gorey and German expressionism. Immense…

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