Review: The Magic Flute by Welsh National Opera at The Mayflower Theatre (26/03/2015)

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Magnificent

Such an energetic and funny performance from the Welsh National Opera will help you to understand and appreciate Opera!

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For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Magic Flute, it is a tale of love, lies, and trials. Don’t let that worry you, as it still manages to be incredibly funny. With music by Wolfgang Mozart, this opera begins with action, as Tamino battles, and is saved from, a giant monster. In this case, it was a gigantic lobster, and immediately had most of the theatre roaring with laughter. Tamino is tasked with saving the Queen of the Night’s daughter, Pamina, alongside his sidekick of sorts, Papageno, who is looking for his ‘Papagena’. Deliriously funny, brilliantly acted and sung, this offering from the WNO is a must-see.

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From the start The Magic Flute was enthralling and laugh out loud funny. For those hard of hearing, there were microphones, and for those of us who couldn’t quite make out the words, (all on stage were loud enough, but to follow the story is sometimes tough when at the Opera!) there were once again those handy subtitles at the top of the stage.

The costumes were inspired by the 1800s and were beautiful. As soon as someone came on stage, you knew where they belonged, and who they were (if a soloist). A special mention must be made of the three incredible dresses worn by the Queen of the Night (Samantha Hay), which were just amazing, beautiful and complex, they looked like they belonged in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Ms Hay managed to steal the show due to her dresses and her incredible talents! I found myself wishing it was her turn on stage once more!

 

Men popping out of the floorboards, people dressed up in animal costumes reading newspapers, and evil henchmen doing ballet… I can honestly say that this was one of the most artistic productions I have ever seen, and I feel quite happy to say the least, that the quality of performance was extremely strong.

I came away humming, fighting the urge to sway to the unforgettable music, and even more than that, trying to convince myself that no, it wouldn’t be possible or practical to dress up in one of the Queen of the Night’s dresses, should I ever be given the chance!

Tickets for The Magic Flute by the Welsh National Opera can be bought here.

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