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A well-travelled Die Zauberflöte enjoys a terrific success in Valencia – Seen and Heard Worldwide

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SpainSpain Mozart, Die Zauberflöte: Soloists, Generalitat Valenciana Refrain, Comunitat Valenciana Orchestra / James Gaffigan (conductor). Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia, 8.6.2024. (JMI)

Serena Sáenz (Pamina) and Rainelle Krause (Queen of the Night time) © Arts Pictures

Stage director – Simon McBurney
Set designer – Michael Levine
Costume designer – Nicky Gillibrand
Lighting designer – Jean Kalman
Video designer – Finn Ross
Sound designer – Gareth Fry
Refrain grasp – Francesc Perales

Sarastro – Matthew Rose
Tamino – Giovanni Sala
Speaker – Irakli Pkhaladze
Monks / Armed Males – Alejandro López, Jorge Franco
Queen of the Night time – Rainelle Krause
Pamina – Serena Sáenz
Three Girls – Antonella Zanetti, Laura Fleur, Luzia Tietze
Three Boys – members of Trinity Boys Choir
Papagena – Iria Goti
Papageno – Gyula Orendt
Monostatos – Brenton Ryan

Palau de Les Arts is ending the season with this Mozart opera, one of the vital common within the repertoire. It was final seen in Valencia in 2013, when it additionally closed the opera season. The present efficiency was a winner, by way of each theatre attendance and the viewers’s response.

Undoubtedly, a key side within the triumph has to do with Simon McBurney’s staging – a Dutch Nationwide Opera, Competition d’Aix-en-Provence and English Nationwide Opera coproduction – which premiered in Amsterdam in 2012 and has been extraordinarily profitable. One may say that the productions by Barrie Kosky and Simon McBurney are the true requirements for The Magic Flute, at the least lately.

A scene from Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía’s Die Zauberflöte © Arts Pictures

The stage is sort of naked – the important thing parts are a big platform within the heart and a display screen on the again. The platform modifications form and elevation often: typically the plot develops on it, whereas on different events the motion takes place beneath it or on the entrance of the stage. The display screen shows engaging, well-projected photos, from the mountainous panorama with which the opera opens to pictures of locations just like the palace or Sarastro’s sanctuary and the like.

The path is imaginative, with the motion introduced to the current time by way of the costumes. Act I is a succession of oddities that powerfully entice one’s consideration, however you get used to them. It’s curious that the Queen of the Night time is performed as an previous lady in a wheelchair, and that the kids accompanying Tamino are disguised as previous folks. Within the second act, there have been some notable scenes too, together with Papageno with bottles as an alternative of bells. However to sum up, it is a superb manufacturing.

Conductor James Gaffigan, the present musical director of the Komische Oper in Berlin, provided a convincing studying, notably within the first half. He has grow to be a decisive musical power in Valencia. As at all times, the Valencia orchestra was spectacular, and the identical might be mentioned of the refrain.

Tamino was carried out by tenor Giovanni Sala, who has been heard in Valencia on earlier events. He has a powerful voice and sang with gusto. Soprano Serena Sáenz was Pamina, and she or he has been a frequent interpreter of the character lately. I’ve heard her within the function a number of instances, and she or he has at all times been noteworthy. Her admirable voice carries all through the opera home.

Baritone Gyula Orendt was excellent as Papageno, giving life and voice to the fowl catcher. Sarastro was bass Matthew Rose who has an ample voice, though one misses the deep notes of different Sarastros of current instances, particularly from René Pape on high type. In any case, Rose did effectively.

The Queen of the Night time was soprano Rainelle Krause, a light-weight soprano who’s acquainted with the character. She clearly stands out in coloratura and within the excessive notes, though she is considerably weak within the decrease register. After her aria in Act II, she acquired the most important ovation of the night time.

Iria Goti was nice as Papagena, and so too was Irakli Pkhaladze because the Speaker. I used to be much less impressed by the Monostatos of tenor Brenton Ryan. The Three Girls, performed by Antonella Zanetti, Laura Fleur and Luzia Tietze, have been glorious, as have been the Three Boys (right here previous males) who belong to the Trinity Boys Choir.

José M. Irurzun

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