Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Magic Flute: Melbourne Festival

The description of thirty South African performers performing an explosion of choral song, marimbas, drums and township-style percussion celebrating the spirit of contemporary Africa sounded too good to miss though I have never seen The Magic Flute (though it is in the coming season An interesting comparison!)
But I read up on the plot (or is there a term for an opera story, maybe libretto?) so I knew what was happening. They kept to the original work but singing in English with some free interpretation,
The flute with the trumpet in the background
When Papageno was telling Tamino how he rescued him from the serpent. "First I was afraid, I was petrified" he says
The Magic flute sound was a jazzy trumpet that was really  stirring !
The three spirits were in short skirt lilac suits with handbags on their arm and white wings.
Infusing this joyous opera with the distinctive sound and beat of South African instrumentation, the world-famous Isango Ensemble have breathed new life into Mozart’s timeless opera.
It was  really enjoyable with superb voices in the lead roles as well as great chorus voices and dancing
The priest
The stage was canted forward with the musician on the sides,and using percussion,marimba (wooden xylophone) all at the edge of the stage played at times with great enthusiasm.
All the woman were, as Precious Ramotswe would say, of traditional build!

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