Wonderfully creative, beautifully sung and an absolute delight. I could ask for nothing more of Monday evening’s performance at the Liceu of Mozart’s La Flauta Mágica.
Mozart’s opera tells a fantastic story set in an imaginary place and involves a bird seller, a prince and princess, an evil queen, a priest and, of course, a magic flute. A rather complicated plot with lots of Masonic symbolism, but memorable musically and visually.
Combining the performers with both black and white as well as colour animations, the opera takes on a feeling of a silent film from the Twenties. Add to this a bit of ‘Ka-Boom’ from Marvel comics, a fairytale love story and sprinkles of humour, and this production had enough energy to keep the attention of the younger people in Monday’s audience, who might be more accustomed to fast-paced video games than an evening at the opera. For those of us a bit older (ok, in my case, quite a bit older), this production was a showcase for the vocal talents and dramatic abilities of the performers to integrate their acting so convincingly with the animations. While I enjoyed all the performances, Soprano Olga Pudova as Queen of the Night, was superb. It’s not always easy to like an evil queen, but in Ms Pudova’s case, it was impossible not to enjoy her character, especially her vocal range.
The Liceu Orchestra, under the direction of Antonello Manacorda, and the Liceu Chorus also provided fine performances and richly deserved the audience’s warm applause.
Animated bumblebees and butterflies, dragonflies and ferocious creatures from the underworld, birds, dragons and even a black cat….would Mozart have been pleased with this production? A rhetorical question I cannot answer, but I would like to think he would have been as amazed, delighted and entertained as I was on Monday evening.
The Liceu’s La Flauta Mágica continues until September 17th.