The Magic Flute ends with the majority of characters (less the Queen of the Night and her subjects) finding enlightenment.

Review: Edmonton Opera Dabbles in the ‘Magic’ of Mozart | By William Parker

Mozart’s last creation to has been brought to us by our very own Edmonton Opera.

I must admit to something: this was my first ever attended opera production. I am quite embarrassed to say the least, and unsure of why I have not been to an opera before. Maybe it’s because of the stereotype; a large woman with horns on her head belting into the masses in a language not understood. My stereotype, just like most, was very wrong.

 

The Three Ladies (Betty Waynne Allison, Catherine Daniel & Tanya Roberts) present Tamino (Adam Luther, left) with his magic Flute, while Papageno (John Brancy) watches.
The Three Ladies (Betty Waynne Allison, Catherine Daniel & Tanya Roberts) present Tamino (Adam Luther, left) with his magic Flute, while Papageno (John Brancy) watches.

The Edmonton Opera has done a magnificent job with this production of The Magic Flute. It was not at all what I expected, and I recommend this show to everyone. It was actually the first thing I noticed when walking into the Jubilee on Thursday night for the dress rehearsal of Mozart’s masterpiece. There were people from every walk of life in that auditorium. The relatively straight forward plot catered to the younger crowd, while the satirical humour added a layer of complexity that likely went over the younger crowd’s heads, while serving to entertain the adults. It was craftily done.

I heard the whispers throughout the crowd as well. Everyone loved the wardrobe! The colours were brilliant, and the garb fit the actors perfectly. Alongside the choreography, stage set and special effects, the visuals alone were enough to justify the ticket price. Probably one of my favourite parts of this performance were the vibrant colours on stage.

Another aspect of the performance that was carefully though-out and successfully executed was that of the chosen language. The actors all conversed in English, while the sung arias were done in German (or Italian, depending on the night of attendance). A small screen above the stage helped translate the lyrics into English for the none-polyglots. This way, there was no part of the act that was not understood. Along with the stylish wardrobe worn by rather fit actors, the beautiful music successfully blew my preconceived notions out of the water!

Papageno (John Brancy) explains that he catches birds for the Queen of the Night, in return for wine and food.
Papageno (John Brancy) explains that he catches birds for the Queen of the Night, in return for wine and food.

So please take the time to attend this magnificently executed opera production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. It’s (forgive me for the cliche) entertainment for the whole family, the aesthetics are amazing, and the special effects are exciting. Bravo, Edmonton Opera, bravo!

The Magic Flute will be performed at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on Tuesday (Feb 3) and Thursday (Feb 5). 

Photography courtesy of Nanc Price of Edmonton Opera.

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