Magic Flute!

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620
Pierre Audi (Director)

This recording is a joyous and delightful performance of Mozart’s opera, Die Zauberflote. The bright staging of Pierre Audi and the set design of Karel Appel seem to have divided the opinion of viewers, but I found them to be creative and in good taste. This is simply a joy to watch and to listen to this masterpiece. Yet the seriousness and profundity of the plot do not suffer as a consequence of set and staging.

Conductor Riccardo Muti presides over a brilliant Viennese ensemble, and his interpretation is elegant in its lines, as well as rich in its sonority. Many small details deserve to be highlighted, and one in particular: Papageno’s bells have never sounded as enchanting as they do here.

The voices and characterizations are top-notch and the Vienna Philharmonic sounds wonderful under a sensitive conductor Riccardo Muti. In the casting there are Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night, Tamino is sung by Paul Groves, sweet Papageno (Christian Gerhaher) and eloquent Pamina (Genia Kuhmeier).

The conductor and some of the singers discuss the opera (in English, Italian or German, with subtitles, depending on the speaker’s country of origin) in a mini-documentary, which also gives us tantalizing glimpses of a piano rehearsal. One only wishes this ran longer.
Some of the other roles are sung by the following:

René Pape (Sarastro), Inga Kalna (First Lady), Karine Deshayes (Second Lady), Ekaterina Gubanova (Third Lady), Christian Gerhaher (Papageno), Irena Bespalovaite (Papagena)

Members of the Vienna Boys Choir, Wiener Staatsopernchor & Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Riccardo Muti

Here is a video of the Royal Opera House production

Diana Damrau as Queen of Night
Dorothea Röschmann as Pamina

conducted by Colin Davis:

Tags: Magic Flute, Zauberfloete, Mozart, Muti

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