There is something unsettling about Mozart. A friend of mine says that he can write about the most horrendous things in the world by using the sweetest, most upbeat music. This is the absolute truth when it comes to the Don Giovanni, and it is, also, kind of accurate when looking at The Magic Flute.
Words and music clash constantly in a performance meant to mislead the audience. If the words are harsh or sad or upsetting, the warmth of the music will make you feel elated, and, yes, even confused.
Last night, as we were invited to see the Welsh National Opera rendition, we witnessed Mozart’s most famous story about reason, logic and light. The Magic Flute is, effectively, based on Mozart’s own relationship with The Illluminati -a masonically inspired group which, among many other things, believed that social rank was not necessarily a synonym for nobility of the spirit.
If you are not familiar with The Magic Flute, the plot is the following:
Tamino, a prince lost in a foreign land, is attacked by a monster. Unable to escape, he is rescued by three mysterious ladies. In exchange for saving his life, they ask him to help them free Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Tamino and his sidekick/friend Papageo, decide to help the ladies and embark on a quest to save the beautiful Tamina in a land where nothing is what it is seems, and the already fine lines between truths and lies blur just as much as dark and light. As usual, The Wales National Opera put on a fabulous performance which left us hopeful and even slightly emotional at times.
Here are three reasons why you should watch The Magic Flute:
- A fresh perspective and an almost futuristic approach to Mozart’s work. WNO brings colourful costumes and a lighter attitude to The Magic Flute. It’s a pleasure to watch and, perhaps, revitalises the more traditional version.
- Incredible acting and singing: everyone was absolutely brilliant and the group performances were what made The Magic Flute a must-see, particularly those with the young ones aka Carys Davies, Sophie Williams and Llinos Haf Jones. Quirijn de Lang, in the role of Papageno, was also a perfect combination of sweet and funny and our favourite of the night.
- A less pretentious yet dynamic set with the behind the scenes staff becoming part of the performance, which, as a result, turned out infinitely better, more realistic and almost poetic because of it.
Interested? Catch up The Magic Flute on tour by clicking here.