Today we were up at the London Coliseum to see the Magic Flute (Mozart) (Simon McBurney's new production) - not an opera I know much about and not that familiar with the music. I'm quite a fan of Mozart so was looking to be entertained.
The scene setting on the open stage was minimalist to say the least but this was to be the 'base' for some quite clever lighting and special effects.
I have to say, that in its entirety I wasn't that entertained. It was sung in English, not a problem in itself, but So generally, the dialogue (how literal a translation was it?) was too modern to suit such a story written all those years ago. I have to say that as an Opera it disappointed - I like the (more traditional) style of La Boheme, La Rondine et al.... story lines I can believe in and performed with pathos and feeling.
There was a great deal of spoken words... could I have more music please?
The character of Papageno (Roland Wood) had a humorous spot in Scene 2 which, in itself was funny and entertaining. He was also running through the audience at one point with these images projected as a back-drop on the stage... did the front row audience expent to be part of the production I wonder?
Surprisingly there were a few young children (about 10-12) in the audience and in the main, they seemed engrossed. Not surprisingly during one rather suggestive bit of acting as prospective lovers started undressing ready for..... a young lad sitting next to me turned to his mother (?) and asked 'what are they doing'? I didn't hear the response :)
Overall, the 'effects' (dark clad actors waving white pieces of paper to resemble birds) were interesting and the suggestion of fire and flood with appropriate sound effects were good and atmospheric.
So, given I've now been to a few operas, I have to admit that this is the first one I haven't enjoyed. It also over-ran by about 20 minutes which was unusual. Perhaps it is me? and that I need to understand opera more before making this observations...
The singing was excellent and the orchestra were on top form.
and the next one? is Carmen.... something altogether quite different.
6 hours ago