The Magic Flute Review – Truly magical Mozart on the English National Opera | Theatre | Entertainment | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

There are basically three kinds of opera director: those that stick as faithfully as doable to the unique composer’s and librettist’s intentions; those that add a number of touches of their very own to reinforce or modernise the unique; and people who attempt to adapt the unique right into a car for their very own concepts.

Simon McBurney is none of these. Instead, he tears up the rule ebook and re-invents the opera for right this moment, utilizing trendy concepts, expertise and humour to create one thing that’s each authentic and completely in line with the spirit of the unique work. His Magic Flute is a surprising instance.

First, he has raised the orchestra out of its standard place within the pit to a degree nearly equal to that of the stage. Suddenly the gamers grew to become seen and might play an element within the motion. The most hanging instance of this comes when Pamino involves play the magic flute of the title and is joined on stage by a flautist from the orchestra for a real duet.

The subsequent outstanding McBurney burnishment is positioned simply off the nook of the stage, the place he positions a slate on which captions could be drawn and projected for all to see. The ensuing scrawled indicators and footage are a pleasant combination of old-style captions and trendy expertise.

Finally, and maybe most successfully of all, he incorporates into the efficiency a big sound-effects field, holding all types of noise-making home equipment that reproduce sounds from raging thunder to the tinkle of wine being drunk, and from footsteps to Velcro. This all acts as superb punctuation, making the opera even funnier than we predict and including to the enjoyment of the event.

For as soon as, a comic book opera is real comedy and the singers on the primary evening didn’t take lengthy to get into the spirit of all of it. The British baritone David Stout appeared somewhat hesitant at first within the comedian function of the birdcatcher Papageno. His gloriously exact and resonant operatic voice uncomfortably contrasted with the humour of his appearing and spoken strains, however he quickly bought into the best groove, toned down his singing and captured the true essence of the manufacturing particularly when his function took him into the principle physique of the corridor the place he pushed his means by way of the viewers.

American tenor Norman Reinhardt and British soprano Sarah Tynan have been glorious within the comparatively straight roles of the lovers Tamino and Pamina as they fought to be collectively, and each did a great job including to the enjoyable with out over-acting.

As so usually, nevertheless, essentially the most spectacular singing got here from the Queen of the Night, performed by American soprano Rainelle Krause, whose two fundamental arias displayed a gloriously efficient supply of all of the excessive notes and vocal dexterity these show-stoppers demand. Add the wondrously sonorous voice of Canadian bass John Relyea as Sarastro and a wonderfully assured and exact ENO debut from German-born conductor Erina Yashima and all of it supplied completely musical lunacy.

After overcoming threats to their very existence at first of the 12 months, the ENO has as soon as once more proven what they’ll do and demonstrated the short-sightedness of the Arts Council in reducing their grant and wanting to maneuver them to Manchester. Long might they proceed to thrill audiences at London’s Coliseum.