Magazine article Opera Canada

Mozart: Die Zauberflote

Magazine article Opera Canada

Mozart: Die Zauberflote

Article excerpt

SCHADE, OELZE, FINLEY, BACKES, PEETERS, SIEDEN, THE ENGLISH Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor. Archiv 440 072 547-1 (2 LVDs/3 sides: 160 minutes). *****

FOLLOWING HOT ON THE HEELS OF THEIR SPLENDID NEW CD RELEASE of Mozart's Die Zauberflote conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, Archiv has issued a video version that, in many aspects, is even more satisfying. Filmed in 1995 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, this release documents one of the many live performances of the opera that Gardiner and his cast undertook prior to recording the opera in studio.

The cast, apart from the smaller roles, is the same as that found on the CD. In the video, however, there is an added energy that can usually be found only in live performance. Canadian tenor Michael Schade is perhaps the best Tamino around these days, while Canadian baritone Gerald Finley virtually steals the show as Papageno. Kudos must be given to coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden, who sings the Queen of the Night's entire Act I aria while being held aloft by the dancers. As for Christiane Oelze, she was more affecting in the video than on CD.

The production is semi-staged, with the playing area entirely surrounding the orchestra. …

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