OperaUpClose: The Magic Flute
Second production of the Mozart masterpiece I see in less than a week. I love London. This was a totally different approach to it compared with the traditional production at the Royal Opera House. Here OperaUpClose adapts the opera to our days but not only in the scenic sense but also changing the text (translated into English, of course) and the characters. And it worked: a night out, clubs, instagram, tinder…
Some of the changes shocked me a little bit like not having a Monostatos equivalent and assigning his arias to the Tamino-like character or converting some arias into duos. However they mostly respected the music mood and worked fine.
The music was re-orchestrated for piano, bass/double-bass, guitars and winds. All the winds (flute, saxo and clarinet) where performer by the same amazing musician. Acoustic and electric guitars were alternating making maybe too much contrast on the general mood (classic vs. modern/more aggressive). The music direction by David Keefe was stunning.
I was impressed by the singing level. Much better than expected. Pamina-like (she was not really Pamina) was brilliant and the always difficult role of the Queen of the Night was sung very well.
Comedy was kept mostly around Papageno who did a funny portrayal. There were no spoken dialogs and the original symbolism of the work was transposed in this new realm using mostly the scene.