June 07, 2007

Die Zauberflöte Watch


As I noted previously, I attended the big end-of-term celebration at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method yesterday, one of the highlights of which was the lower elementary presentation of Mozart's Magic Flute, the nine year old Llama-ette serving double duty as The Queen of the Night and one of her attendants and the seven year old appearing as both a bird and a spirit of fire.

Weeeeeell, I couldn't help thinking that in spite of the fact that a) this was a very stripped-down version of the opera, with only three sung bits and mostly spoken dialogue, b) it was served up by a pack of young children, and c) I was having a hard time concentrating because I had a very hot, bored and squirmy five year old on my lap, really when you came down to it, this production was no sillier or more incomprehensible than the full-blown original.


[Ducks to avoid fruit thrown in outrage by Mozart lovers.]

Really, I've never warmed up to this opera the way I have with the great Mozart/Da Ponte collaborations. Part of it is the story itself - I've not much interest in silly Masonic fairy-tales and find myself drumming my fingers in irritation at frequent intervals. The other part is the fact that the opera is in German, a language that I consider to be both ugly and barbaric, reminiscent of cold, dismal swamps, fog-shrouded and wolf-haunted forests and bands of wild-haired, mead-sodden savages ambushing Roman Legionnaires.

"Varus! Give me back my Eagles!"

[Ducks even further to avoid rotten fruit thrown by Masons and Deutchophiles.]

Posted by Robert at June 7, 2007 09:22 AM | TrackBack

I love Mozart, but since there is no such thing as "a good opera" - never mind a great one - I don't mind. I can buy into the absurdity of Roadrunner cartoons, but not opera. It is simply ridiculous in the extreme, and not in a funny way either. Then there is the singing. *shudder* I can't stand to listen to classically trained singers: All that over-the-top and campy vibrato they sing with hurts my ears. Seriously.

Give me a nice, smooth jazz or pop singer like a Mel Torme or Liza Minelli and day over those classical divoids.

Posted by: Hucbald at June 8, 2007 02:16 AM