Magazine article Musical Opinion

The Magic Flute

Magazine article Musical Opinion

The Magic Flute

Article excerpt

The Magic Flute

Glyndebourne knows when it has a success story. This year's Touring Season has 43 dates, in 7 venues, of which a full 17 are performances of The Magic Flute. Further good news is that next year this Flute is revived as part of the Festival's Summer Season as well.

This will not be a surprise to anyone who has seen it, for surely this is the production against which others will be judged for years to come. David McVicar's at Covent Garden was dark and brooding throughout. Adrian Noble's Glyndebourne production, which I saw on 8 October, was by comparison bathed in light, with bright primary colours predominating. Where there are usually subterranean dungeons, this was bathed in afternoon sunshine. Subtly different from the Festival's version, tweaked and enhanced, this Touring staging was an evening of pure delight.

It is set in a timeless Middle-Eastern Kingdom with Sarastro as its Pasha. Galabayas and turbans are the order of the day, with lions as mascots and tropical sunsets: a feast for the eye as well as the ear.

If you decide that Mozart's penultimate opera is a dark plot full of deep meanings then it is fair to say that this is not the production for you, being instead more of a pantomime: Monostatos was even booed at the curtain! Comedy and simple narrative are the order of the day.

The Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra, under the baton of Alexander Briger, was solid and workman-like, rising occasionally to bravura but mostly staying in the background to support the singers. …

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