The Magic Flute Calgary
The Magic Flute is a two act opera written by Wolgang Amadeus Mozart during the last year of his life, making this one of the last works from him. It is a Singspiel which is a German word that translates to sing-play and is now a type of opera, that means the opera contains both singing and speaking parts. The singing was in German and the spoken parts were in English.
I was delighted when I realized we were enjoying a singspiel, as I really like how it makes for a more realistic translation versus what happens when something gets translated into English text. While the lyrics are translated into English and displayed on a prompter above the stage it can get a little lost in the direct translation. The English snippets were a nice break from looking up to see what they are saying.
I’m not going to give you any specifics or backstory of the opera because you can Google that or look at the playbill but I will give you a hint, there’s a flute and its magical. What I am going to give you is what I thought because really, that’s why you’re here!
The Magic Flute was stunning! Everything was completely on point all night. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra was perfection, as always. The costumes were incredible and the best I’ve ever seen at a Canadian opera production. The sets were minimal but clever and effective. The actors were completely and thoroughly committed to the roles and the comedic timing was without reproach. The singing was gorgeous and the work from Ambur Braid as the Queen of the Night reminded me of the Diva’s Aria in the movie The Fifth Element. I had goosebumps every time she sang! Also of note was Hugh Russell who stole the show completely as Papageno, the sidekick birdcatcher. Many belly laughs came compliments of his performance!
Bring a friend!
I brought my friend Heidi so she could attend her first opera ever(!)and it was absolutely the best opera for a first time patron. I do believe she will be a fan for life now!
The Magic Flute has 2 remaining performances on April 20th and April 22nd, which brings the 2015/2016 season of the Calgary Opera to a close. They really did save the best for last!