Sung play in two acts with music by Wolfgang A. Mozart and a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
In a production by the Royal Opera
Director: David McVicar
Conductor: Colin Davis
Designer: John Macfarlane
Tamino: William Hartmann
Pamina: Dorothea Roschmann
Papageno: Simon Keenlyside
Sarastro: Franz Joseph Selig
Queen of the Night: Diana Damrau
Speaker: Thomas Allen
Papagena: Ailish Tynan
Monostatos: Adrian Thompson
Three Ladies: Gillian Webster, Christine Rice, Yvonne Howard
Two Priests: Mathew Beale, Richard Van Allan
Two Men in Armor: Alan Oke, Graeme Broadbent
Three Spirits: Zico Shaker, Tom Chapman, John Holland-Avery
The Royal Opera production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute mines the fantastical aspects of the story while preserving the humanity of the characters, especially the “working class” ones. Even Gillian Webster, Christine Rice, and Yvonne Howard, the three ladies who serve the Queen of the Night become in the guiding hands of director David Mc Vicar three delightfully manipulative, randy gossips. The Papageno of Simon Keenlyside is common man personified: a wily as a fox yet vulnerable survivor, and he can sing with the very best of them.
William Hartmann’s Tamino is beset by rough patches in the high tessitura of the Bildniss aria, at best vocally in the heroic moments. Dorothea Roschmann, in her youthful prime is the perfect Mozart soprano is fresh voiced and honest in her acting. The Queen of the Night of Diana Damrau is evil incarnate, her singing faultless and often exciting. The Sarastro of Franz Joseph Selig is nobly sung, the Speaker of Thomas Allen perfect in all aspects.
The production design is superbly realized with 18th century costumes worn against a multi-colored background, the use of animal puppets sheer delight.
Colin Davis conducts with complete mastery of the Mozart score, allowing his soloists plenty of flexibility.
This, in short, is yet another immensely satisfying offering in the Royal Opera Collection.
This DVD is part of the Royal Opera Collection ( OA1337BD / OABD7291BD).
Rafael de Acha ALL ABOUT THE ARTS