Magic flute and toning bells expected in this Saturday’s Metropolitan Opera High Definition opera broadcast
Special to the Daily
‘Magic Flute’ Saturday’s Metropolitan Oper High Definition performance
Mozart’s classic opera, Die Zauberflöte, or “The Magic Flute,” will be the next Metropolitan Opera High Definition opera broadcast scheduled for Saturday at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. Since the 1791 opening performance of this classic opera in Vienna, three months before Mozart’s death, “The Magic Flute” has since been the most often performed opera in theaters around the world.
Act I opens with Prince Tamino (sung by tenor Charles Castronovo), after being chased by an evil serpent, faints from exhaustion just prior to a deadly attack. The serpent is killed by three ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night. They find Tamino extremely handsome and leave for return to the Temple. When Tamino recovers, he is greeted by the bird catcher, Papageno (sung by Markus Werba), his new partner in adventure.
The three ladies return and show Tamino the portrait of the queen’s daughter, Pamina, imprisoned by the High Priest, Sarastro (sung by Tobias Kehrer), instantly falling in love with her. Suddenly, the Queen of the Night (sung by Kathryn Lewek) appears and tells Tamino that he may marry Pamina, if he rescues her from Sarastro. He, without hesitation, agrees. When the queen departs, the three ladies give Tamino a magic flute that will change the hearts of men, and give Papageno a set of silver bells to provide him protection. The two men begin their rescue mission to Sarastro’s Temple, with the aid of three spirits sent by the ladies.
Act II takes place in the Temple of Sarastro. Choral scenes, including Sarastro and the Temple priests, are quite effective. Sarastro imposes three tests on Tamino that he must pass to win his lover, Pamina. The first test is “Silence.” When Tamino falls silent, Pamina (sung by Golda Schultz), experiences sorrow for his lack of response. The second test is “Fire,” the third is “Water.” With music from the magic flute, Tamino and Pamina together walk through the fire and water, returning as a happy couple. Sarastro blesses them for completing the tests.
The Queen of the Night is furious, and while attempting to enter the Temple, is hit by a thunderbolt taking her to hell. In the background, Papageno, through the magic of ringing the bells, finally consumates his love. The opera then ends on a happy note.
Staging is enhanced with illuminated dancing puppets that, along with Julie Taymor’s animated costumes, make the characters, even the noble Tamino, seem weirdly fantastical. As opening night won over a number of young fans, those attending this HD broadcast are encouraged to also invite their teen-age children and family friends to attend this dazzling performance.
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