It might say “Cincinnati Opera” on your ticket, but the new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute draws from a veritable schmörgåsbord of artistic mediums.
It’ll hit you right when you walk in. Where otherwise you might see an intricate set erected upon the stage, here there’s only an immense white wall. But that wall is key. As the cast flutters around in the foreground, on the wall is projected a spectacular array of images that serve to visualize the plot, accentuate the action, and endear the characters to the audience in delightful ways.
Think Lumenocity, but with the surreal whimsy of a Monty Python sequence and the beguiling charm of 1920s silent cinema.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The Magic Flute is your classic guy meets girl, girl-turns-out-to-be-the-daughter-of-a-vengeful-sorceress-queen type story. Pretty standard.
Our boy Tamino falls in love with a princess, Pamina. Said princess is indeed the daughter of the Queen of the Night. She’s also being held captive by fellow ne’er-do-well, surrogate father-figure, and ominous hombre, Sarastro.
With the help of the dawdling, mercurial Papageno, a rescue mission ensues. Surprises are had, plots foiled, and eventually… Well, I won’t spoil the ending for you.
What I will spoil is how spectacular this production really is. In a time when opera craft is demanding more and more creativity from its productions, this one takes the cake. You’ll leave with a sore jaw, because it’ll have spent most of the performance on the floor.
Cincinnati Opera’s production of The Magic Flute will have four performances at the Aronoff Center: July 15, 20, and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and July 23 at 3 p.m.
Tickets can be found here. (Hurry, they seem to be going fast!)
For more information about The Magic Flute, visit Cincinnati Opera’s website.