Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Die Zauberflote

Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Die Zauberflote

Article excerpt

Mozart                              [DVD] [BR]  Die Zauberflote  Martin Piskorski ten                    Tamino Fatma Said sop                          Pamina Yasmin Ozkan sop            Queen of the Night Till von Orlowsky bar                 Papageno Theresa Zisser sop                    Papagena Martin Summer bass                    Sarastro Sascha Emanuel Kramer ten           Monostatos Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan / Adam Fischer 

Stage director Peter Stein Video director Roberto Maria Grassi C Major Entertainment (F) [DVD] 740408; [f] [BR] 740504 (173' * NTSC * 16:9 * 1080i * DTS-HD MA5.1, DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * 0 * s) Recorded live, September 21, 2016 Includes synopsis

It's not clear what La Scala intended to capture for posterity in this recording. The --singers, orchestra and chorus are drawn from the La Scala Academy, while the director and conductor are two marquee names, Peter Stein and Adam Fischer respectively. The end result has quality ingredients but doesn't come to the boil. The worst decisions were made by the professionals.

Peter Stein, 79, is a director whose late career seems to be in full-blown flight away from the radicalism that characterised his early work in Berlin. While Mozart's Flute cries out for magic and not deconstruction, Stein's milquetoast show gives his young singers and his audience little to chew on.

The most tasteless decision should have been scrapped long before it made a dress rehearsal. Every director of Flute should grapple with Mozart's Enlightenment vision being not so enlightened when it comes to gender and race. But by plopping Sascha Emanuel Kramer's Monostatos in a grass skirt, slathering him in black body paint and surrounding him with a group of whooping, 'primitive' followers in the same garb--more coal-black paint on white bodies--Stein and his costume designer Anna Maria Heinreich simply reinforce what Monostatos tells us about black skins containing black souls. …

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