Blog: The Magic Flute…

As Pamina!

Tonight we finish the run for The Magic Flute here at the Metropolitan Opera, and what a ride it’s been. This has been quite a different experience for me on many levels, most obviously because the whole production is geared to the younger folk. That’s right, it’s in English… for children… and surprisningly, so much fun! With magical instruments, huge dancing bears, and a shortened musical score, it’s a great evening (or rather morning…) for kids of all ages.

Julie Taymor created this fantastical production several years ago, and my first experience with it was last year when I performed in the full-length German version here, at the Metropolitan Opera. Having gotten my initial jitters out of the way in that run, it’s been a fun experience relaxing and just having a great time. I’ve done performances for students before, but have never done a full run of an opera specifically for children. And, man, they do not hold back! They are quite blatant and excited with their responses, both positively and negatively, which makes curtain calls a real experience. It’s like a rock concert, with the Queen of the Night and Papageno as the operatic equivalent of U2. Awesome!

Finding my love...

Also, it’s been a pretty new experience for me to do Mozart in English translation. I feel pretty split about the whole thing. I love the immediacy of singing in the vernacular of the audience, knowing that it’s reaching the audience directly. I know that I relax in a different way when I watch a movie in English rather than in a language with which I am unfamiliar. That said, Mozart set the German so perfectly that I find myself singing the phrases in German in my head, even as they come out of my mouth in English. Also, while the shortened version is wonderful for the attention spans of our youth, some of my favorite music (the trio with Sarastro and Tamino, and most sadly, the duet with Papageno) is cut. L I find myself humming it during the scene changes…

Despite missing some of the moments of Die Zauberflöte that I love the most, this production of The Magic Flute has been so much fun. I know that people love the dramatic stories behind the scenes of performances, but I have to admit that this run has been without drama. The cast is talented, hilarious, and all having a blast. I mean, what’s better than making a child smile?

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