“The Magic Flute”: Eye-Popping

Before I mention anything else about “The Magic Flute” at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, let me say that Louis Langree conducted a delightful, spirited Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. I mention the players first because most of the attention of this Komische Oper Berlin production, co-directed by Suzanne Andrade and Barrie Kosky, has focused on the visuals. Understandably so: making extensive use of animation, the production is a 1920s silent-movie updating, with nods to Buster Keaton, Nosferatu, and Louise Brooks. The Queen of the Night is a monstrous spider. Among the singers my favorites were Julien Behr as Tamino and Maureen mcKay as Pamina. I have heard some complaints that by tying the performers to the animation they were robbed of the chance to interact with each other. I did not find this bothersome, so enchanted was I by the whiz and whirr of the visuals and the orchestral playing. I also appreciated the omission of the spoken dialogue. Instead we got a honky-tonk playing snatches of Mozart’s fantasias in C minor and D minor. The production plays through Saturday — get your tickets here.

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