Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Magic Flute

Royal Opera House, 2003, Diana Damrau, Simon Keenlyside, Colin Davis, 160m, Zauberflote

Opera is not such heavy stuff. Children would have no problem with this one. It has elements of the film musicals, circus, fairy tale and some bawdy pieces. This is a televised version of the actual Mozart opera, complete with the audience responses and glimpses of the orchestra just below stage. The plot is an excuse for the music and voice and the exploration of emotions through music. The effect is joyous, uplifting and sublime. Diana Damrau as the Queen of the Night is terrifying and transcendant with her voice soaring to unheard heights in the famous Der Holle Rache (Hell's Revenge), where the dreaded mother commands her daughter to kill her (the mother's) enemy. Keenlyside as the poor bird catcher and comic role is deeply human.

Der Holle Rache

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