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Saturday, December 07, 2013

The Magic Flute - lacking a bit of magic really.

And so my Operatic journey continues with my first Mozart Opera.

The production by Simon McBurney is a new one and was performed by English National Opera at the Coliseum.

I am big fan of Mozart's music but the reviews were mixed.

My own expectations were lowered when there seemed to be no set..... ah not lavish then I thought.....

Tamino comes on in a track suit and the three ladies were in combats...... ah I thought a modern reinterpretation.........

Now I have to say I didn't really enjoy it. Perhaps it was the use of video as back drop the use of computer  screens. I must just be a traditionalist. The dialogue was very 21st Century as well. I pretty certain the libretto wasn't followed very faithfully.

Ben Johnson has a fine voice but I'm not convinced he can act. I never really cared about his relationship with Pamina. And why does he keep walking to the orchestra to hand the flute to the Flautist? ACT MAN ACT. None of us believe you an play it but ......

Roland Wood as Papageno was funny nipping through the audience (shown as video on stage so those of us in the cheap seats could see it). Although frankly he reminded me much of Bottom from a Midsummer Night's dream. I can't really see what Mary Bevan's Papagena is meant to see in him. I will say that James Creswell as Sarastro had something about him.

Act 2 started with a middle managers conference with everyone suited and booted. I appreciate that interpretations are different but together with all the effects I just didn't feel that I was watching Mozart.

Oh and it overrun by 30 minutes. I mean come on ENO 30 minutes..... did no one time the rehearsals?

I have tickets already to a few future ENO productions coming up and if they disappoint me as much as this and Fidelio I might be curtailing my visits.

I'd like to see another production of the Magic Flute out of curiosity.

I am back next weekend at the Coliseum but their traditional Nutcracker won't let me down. Operatically I'm back at Covent Garden for Carmen. High hopes!


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