The Playful Mystic
Mozart’s most popular opera takes on a playful mysticism through Director David McVicar and a collection of new and old talents.
Under the classical premise of the distressed damsel and man’s magical journey, Die Zauberflote cracks open the hidden code of the enlightened Masons, while still resounding in the playful interpretations of Director David McVicar.
Written during a time of puritanical solemnity, Mozart’s Die Zauberflote offers a magical twist on morals and thought, and this production does well in emphasizing it, through intricate costuming and John McFarlane’s simple yet eccentric set design. The traditional costuming mixes with flying machines, fantastic orbs and imaginary forests, bringing the enchanted theology of the Masons to today’s theatre audiences.
The greatest surprise in performances were the endearing Three Boys – Robert Grisbrook, Andrew Bullmore and Jamie Manton – whose well-weighted harmonies and transparent voices weighed far beyond their elementary years. Captivating as well was Anna-Kristiina Kaappola, Queen of the Night, who was elegant and technically exceptional, gliding through some of Mozart’s most remarkable vocal pieces.
Die Zauberflote is a welcome production for this spring season, with Mozart faithfully accompanying the end of London rain and cold, and hopefully a quick ascent into enlightened summer.
Megan M. Retka