Showing posts from May, 2023

The Mechanical Flute

  In September 1791, a sickly Mozart conducted the premiere of The Magic Flute . Something about the mix of fairy tale magic, humor, and the sunny, eternally catchy music made the opera a huge hit. It has remained this way ever after. Audiences loved it then and love it now. It takes a lot for me to dislike a performance of The Magic Flute/Die Zauberflöte . The new production by Simon McBurney (as opposed to the abbreviated holiday version of the Julie Taymor production trotted out nearly every year) was high on my list of most anticipated events of the 22-23 season. The solo flutist, photo @ Karen Almond The evening was, however, decidedly unmagical. Simon McBurney's production (which has actually been around since 2012 and staged throughout Europe) seems determined to display all the mechanics behind the magic. We walk in and see two booths on either side of the stage. On one side is the video projection artist. On the other side is the sound effects specialist. After awhile, eye