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The magic flute
A delicate balance between good and evil
A magic opera by Mozart
Teatro Regio, Friday 10th January 2014 at 20:00
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a Singspiel full of magic and mystery. The opera will be shown at the Teatro Regio from 10th to 21st January 2014 in fairy tale scenery, directed by Roberto Andò. On the podium of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio is the conductor Christian Arming, an austrian director acclaimed worldwide by audiences for his interpretations of Mozart's pages.
The Magic Flute is an opera of deep contents, almost mystical; however, Roberto Andò has not lost sight of that freshness which Mozart himself thought of, to make his opera light yet suitable for the public. “Mozart - says the director - showed his scientific interests and his love for Egypt in the Magic Flute. Unfortunately, over the years, the focus shifted from it being theatrical to the point of losing sight of the wonderful intersections between popular taste and some aspects of thought. I wanted to keep it simple, bringing back its lightness and elements of surprise, drawing from a theatrical model in keeping singing-actors on stage.”
This production comes from the Teatro Massimo of Palermo. The scenes and lights are by Giovanni Carluccio while Nanà Cecchi designs the costumes. The prince Tamino will be the tenor Giorgio Berrugi, greatly applauded for his premier last year in the role of Rodolfo in La bohème at the Regio. The Russian soprano Olga Pudova plays the difficult role of the Queen of the Night, the bass Aleksandr Vinogradov returns to the Regio in the role of the priest Sarastro; a character who is now part of his large repertoire. The soprano Maria Grazia Schiavo interprets Pamina and the baritone Markus Werba is Papageno. Rounding out the cast: Laura Catrani (Papagena), Talia Or (First Lady), Alessia Nadin (Second Lady), Eva Vogel (Third Lady), Alexander Kaimbacher (Monostatos), Ryan Milstead (Speaker of the initiates), Klaus Kuttler (first priest) and Dario Prola (Second priest). In the course of the ten performances, the leading roles will alternate between In-Sung Sim (Sarastro), Christina Poulitsi (Queen of the Night), Tony Bardon (Tamino), Ekaterina Bakanova (Pamina) and Thomas Tatzl (Papageno). As it is known, The Magic Flute is also an opera for young singers. For the occasion, the soloists of the Children's Choir of the Teatro Regio and the Conservatory “G. Verdi” will interpret the three small geniuses. The master is Claudio Fenoglio.
On October 7th 1791, a week after the debut of The Magic Flute at the ‘Theater auf der Wieden’ in Vienna, Mozart wrote to his wife: “I have just returned from the Opera and it was fuller than ever. The audience demanded an encore of many pieces, but what gives me most pleasure is the silent approval! You can see how this opera is becoming more and more esteemed.” The opera by the Austrian composer had had tremendous success since its first evening debut: a triumph that would be replicated dozens of times, so much that the theatre manager and the librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder, were pushed to prepare a follow-up story.
The Magic Flute belongs to the genre of “Zauberoper”, or “magical opera”. In fact, the protagonists of the story are priests, queens and princes who spend their time between enchanted places, mysterious woods, obelisks, pyramids and temples of an imaginary Egypt. The complex plot revolves around the yearnings of the Queen of the Night who, moved by an ancestral anger against the high priest Sarastro, uses the prince Tamino for her personal whims. The game is this: if Tamino manages to free Pamina, daughter of the Queen, from the clutches of Sarastro, she can be his bride. For this task, Tamino, accompanied by Papageno, receives a golden flute, magical, in fact, capable of changing human passions. The scenes in which Tamino faces the three tests represent the opera’s heart: the test of silence, the test of water, and finally that of fire. Tamino manages to overcome all of them brilliantly and here there is a turning point: Sarastro, surprisingly, proves to be good whereas the Queen of the Night is evil and antagonist. The opera has a happy ending: Sarastro celebrates the victory of the sun over darkness and welcomes the newlyweds Tamino and Pamina.
Mozart's masterpiece transcends the boundaries of “Zauberoper” for its exceptional range of expressive styles used: where the sentimentality of Pamina mixes with a hyperbolic virtuosity of Queen of the Night, the joviality of Papageno with the sublimity of Sarastro and the priests. Mozart, in the last years of his life, wrote pages for mechanical organ, for children’s choir, for religious and Masonic ceremonies. He wrote for opera seria and opera buffa, all the experiences that he put together to animate the tale of Schikaneder and creating a “unique opera”, as George Pestelli explains: “it puts a seal on the final day of Mozart's creativeness, well beyond the left unfinished Requiem.”
The opera is carried out with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo, Founder of Teatro Regio, and will be presented to the public by Vittorio Sabadin within the conferences of the Regio, at the Piccolo Regio Puccini on Wednesday 8th January at 17:30, free admission.
The “premier” will be broadcast live by Rai-Radio3 on Friday 10th January at 20:00. You can also find all about backstage, interpreters and settings by following the Pillole di passione an initiative of Paola Giunti by accessing our site or on our channel YouTube.com /TeatroRegioTorino.
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