Sunday, February 1, 2015

Operaaaahhhhhhhh

Last night, my eldest daughter and I went to see The Magic Flute, a beautiful production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's famous work mounted by Edmonton Opera. It was a delight in so many ways... but mainly for the amazement it offers as incredible music written by a composer that pushed the boundaries of music in his day. He was probably the Elvis of his era, the guy who revolutionized the European music scene of the time.

I love opera, though I'll admit to having my moments in every show where I just wish they'd stop singing the same words over and over. The trick then is to stop listening to the words at that point, and pay attention to the music. What are those violins doing? Listen to how that flute underlines the heroine's sadness. Pay attention to how the clarinets' and oboes' melodies intertwine. But don't close your eyes too long, or you might just drift away...

The Magic Flute was my Christmas present from Christina, and a perfect gift it was, holding many moments of amazement and amusement. Sure, the story is silly in spots, but that's Mozart's lightheartedness coming through -- and the God of life certainly didn't create all doom and gloom, so why should Mozart?

Here's a lovely bit -- the duet of birdcatcher Papageno and his little wife Papagena at the end of the opera. I love their little "papping" bit at the beginning, the silliness of them singing about their soon-to-be family of "kinderlein" all named Papageno and Papagena after themselves -- and the expressions on these faces are just wonderful. Enjoy!

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