As soon as I saw this promo video for Minnesota Opera’s The Magic Flute, I knew I had to see it.
I’ve never been much of an opera person (as indicated even in my last Throwback Thursday post, haha) but this is obviously so visually stunning, and I could live tweet during the Social Media Night Preview so it was like a win-win. Add on the fact that Sara from SocialSara612 got to be my date and make it a win-win-win.
The evening started with Head of Music Rob Ainsley giving us a run down of Mozart’s beloved comedic opera. Since social media would provide some distraction, I enjoyed his lively and wonderful Cliff’s Notes version of the show so we knew what to expect from the story going into it. Afterward, we all filtered into our seats and settled in for a couple hours of beautiful visual stimulation.
In a nutshell, Prince Tamino (Julien Behr) sees a portrait of Princess Pamina (Christie Conover) who is the daughter of the villain, the Queen of the Night (Jeni Houser). Think of her as a cross between Shelob from Lord of the Rings and the Borg Queen from Star Trek. Tamino is told that the evil Sarastro (Benjamin Sieverding) holds Pamina captive, but he’s not actually evil; he’s keeping her safe from her monstrous mother.
The happy-go-lucky Papageno (Andrew Wilkowske) is the Queen’s birdcatcher, and he’s enlisted to help out Tamino in his quest to save Pamina (along with his adorable trusty sidekick, the animated Black Cat). He agrees because three ladies who work for the Queen promise him a wife if he does. Everyone goes through a series of trials before they can get what they want. In the end, music is what carries them through these trials, and it almost feels like a weapon in a video game… but in a good way. A happy, good-feeling weapon. Yeah. It made me smile that other attendees made note of the video game-esque quality, too.
— Jon (@JCodesMN) November 11, 2015
Many of us also made mention that some parts were more like a silent film during the instrumental-only parts. What a fun way to continue telling the story, especially because those parts were in English! (There is also a screen that has subtitles so it’s really easy to follow along.)
— Sara Mutchler (@SocialSara612) November 11, 2015
If all opera was like this, I would attend with much more frequency. I also appreciate all the humor, especially the physical comedy that’s introduced using a mix of the performers and the animation. It’s a treat for your eyes, for your ears, and for your spirit.
The Magic Flute runs Nov 14-22 at The Ordway. You can purchase tickets here for only $25 using the code Social25 at check out. They’re selling out, and Nov 19 and 22 are your best bets.
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