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The Magic Flute - Opera Australia

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The magic of opera
Mozart's The Magic Flute is a timeless opera and it is perhaps the reason why it's one of the most frequently performed operas across the world. Performed for the first time in 1791 in Vienna, Mozart himself conducted the orchestra of this Singspiel (part music part dialogue) and it received much success. For over 220 years across the world now, The Magic Flute is one of the top performed operas globally that combines adventure, comedy, mysteriousness, wisdom and forgiveness into an enjoyable performance.

Con Opera's The Magic Flute
Photo credit @Christopher Hayles

Sydney Conservatorium of Music' presented Opera Australia's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute to sold-out audiences on the opening night of 14th October 2017. Sung in German (with English subtitles), paired with English dialogues and supported by a live Orchestra, the performance was undoubtedly applause-worthy.

Con Opera's The Magic Flute
Photo Credit @Christopher Hayles

In this production, Con Opera has used the existing production set created by Michael Gow for Opera Australia. The set references ancient Egyptian Pharoah style caves and there are also references to Indiana Jones in Tamino the explorer's character's outfits. The three nurses and birdcatcher Papageno keep the pantomime flag of the performance flying high. Their timely comedy is supported by the storyline and their energetic performance. The songs, sung in German, only added to the experience for non-European audiences like me and I found myself transported to a theatre in Vienna in 1791.

Con Opera's The Magic Flute
Photo Credit @Christopher Hayles

The performance starts with young explorer Tamino being rescued from a ghost by the three nurses and then his meeting with Papageno, the bird catcher. The three nurses work for The Queen of the Night and task Tamino with the job of rescuing the queen's daughter, Pamina, from the evil Sarastro with the help of a Magic Flute. Tamino, hopelessly in love with the queen's daughter Pamina, immediately starts on a mission to find her.

The Queen of the Night is a charming enchantress. Her aria was perhaps the most awaited section of the performance. She made no mistake in portraying her confidence and her voice and held the audience enthralled with her two arias.

Con Opera's The Magic Flute
Photo Credit @ Christopher Hayles

Enter Sarastro and the philosophers who put Tamino under the three trials that will lead him into their circle. What follows is a quest for love, wisdom and forgiveness. The director's note suggests that there have been a few small changes to the act in line with the themes of self-awareness and forgiveness.

Con Opera's The Magic Flute
Photo Credit @ Christopher Hayles

Mozart has gifted to the world a great composition and a story enjoyed through the years. Visual effects, stunning sets, costumes and venues definitely enhance this performance, however, the core of the acts is the orchestra and the talent of the performers. Opera Australia's talented troupe have successfully captured that essence of The Magic Flute and delivered it to the audience. It makes a fine evening of wonderful art and opera music.
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*Priyanka was invited as a guest
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Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music Sydney NSW
Cost: Adult $40
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