Mike Vickers' Blog

June 7, 2019

The Magic Flute – an Opera for Our Time?

Filed under: Brexit, Mozart, Opera, Scotland — derryvickers @ 8:41 pm

If Beethoven is the greatest all round composer; Mozart is THE greatest composer of Opera. Of course, Puccini has his moments, particularly in Tosca and La Bohème but Mozart is at times funny with it even in Don Giovani.

On Thursday we went to see Scottish Opera’s performance of the Magic Flute directed by Thomas Allen. Mozart’s music is enchanting and here was under conductor Tobias Ringborg. Sitting on the front row of the stalls with Ringborg just a metre away I got all his facial expressions singing pointedly to the orchestra and urging them on not only with his baton but more so with his body language. It’s great sitting on the front as I can watch all the music being played. I have learned a lot on the sounds each instrument makes and how the nominally the same instrument varies from one to another – the double base is a good example, and the horn is continually evolving.

OK, the singing was excellent as was the theatricals, singers have long since sung on the spot and are taught to act their parts. And I have no idea how the complicated set is readily ported to six theatre across the UK, 4 being in Scotland. Allen has incorporated his background of the Glasgow shipyards where he was brought up into the set.

The singing is in English, but we still have the sub-titles which I like as they help my deafness.

The libretto is nominally around the Masonic Ritual, but it is in tune with the problems of UK politics emphasising the need to work together and opposes the attempted dominance of the Queen of the Night – the Brexiteers such as Johnson.

For those who wish to get a feel of this performance go to

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-pty-pty_extension&hsimp=yhs-pty_extension&hspart=pty&p=scottis+opera+magic+flute#id=5&vid=cf06998f5380b2bb83ff4729100e2db2&action=view

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