Sunday, 21 August 2011

Mozart. The Magic Flute. Lucerne Festival in Summer.

Mozart: The Magic Flute

Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Daniel Harding conductor

Arnold Schoenberg chorus

Alastair Miles Sarastro

Andrew Staples Tamino

Kate Royal Pamina

Albina Shagimuratova Queen of the night

Neal Davis Papageno

Mari Eriksmoen Papagena

Martina Jankova First Lady

Wilke Te Brummelstroete second lady

Kismara pessatti third lady

Stephen Gadd first preast

Alexander Grove First armed man

Vuyani Mlinde second armed man

Mark Le Brocq Monastos

Christopher Widauer narrator and puppeteer

Mozarts most famous opera about overcoming darkness and the search for love.

Tamina the daughter of the queen of the night has been taken by the evil sarastro and Tamino saves her by overcoming the unconscious. The opera has many referances to egypthian mythology and freemasonry. This version with narrative by Andrew Staples is very amousing with jokes about facebook and with a puppeteer acting as Mozart with humorus comments on the story. The performance was a semi-stage concert. There is no opera house in Lucerne at the moment but in a few years there will be. When you entered the auditorium you heard sounds of rain and thunder. The lights went down and the orchestra entered in silence as the narrator began speaking. Images of cosmos was shown on the white walls as the overture started. Very effectfull. The singers were as always very good and some of them even friends of Daniel on facebook. Neal Davis was wonderful as papageno with a good average voice but not the best papageno in the world. Mari Erkismoen as papagena on the other hand was delightful. Driving a permobil humming the chicken dance when in disguise in the second act got many laughs including from Andrew Staples. Concert perfomances of operas can be quite boring but not in this case. There was a great deal of interaction and with the narrative it realy worked.

All though the last projection images of a man beeing tortured by water boarding is not suitable with Mozarts music. Kate Royal is wonderful as Pamina with a crystal clear german she realy did a wonderful job. Last time we heard Kate was in Berlin last year with Mahlers second symphony. Albina Shagmiruatova is wonderful as her mother who wants her daughter to commit murder and the high notes of the famous aria are sang with no trouble at all. Alastair Miles as sarastro was good but not very demanding in his character.

Very dramatic. The arnold shoenberg choir has sang in Lucerne before both with Daniel and of course with Claudio. Who sat in the audience. Harding is a great lover of opera and he knows how to bring a score to life. He seemed to hold back a little unlike other concerts where he realy looks fierce and demanding on the podium. But this is an orchestra he knows very well as does his mentor Claudio who founded the orchestra. In the end it was worth attending and a great way to end our stay in Lucerne.

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