Reviewed by Paula Citron
The Magic Flute
Canadian Opera Company
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conducted by Johannes Debus
Directed by Diane Paulus
Performed by Michael Schade, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Rodion Pogossov, Aline Kutan, Mikhail Petrenko, John Easterlin, Robert Gleadow and Lisa DiMaria
Four Seasons Centre
Jan. 29, 2010 to Feb. 25, 2011
The Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is a visual delight although the vision doesn’t quite hang together.
Director Diana Paulus has attempted to show how the worlds of reality and mythology collide, by beginning with a play within a play, and then having the separation between art and life disappear. The audience and the players become one and the same over time.
Despite lapses of logic, Paulus has included lots of amusing stage business, and the singing, overall, is very good. Conductor Johannes Debus may be a trifle self-indulgently slow on some tempi, but he makes his orchestra sound magisterial when it counts.
Both Michael Schade as Tamino and Isabel Bayrakdarian as Pamina faltered on Debus’ too slow arias, but sang quite expressively through the rest. Stand-outs include soprano Aline Kutan as the Queen of the Night, and baritone Rodion Pogossov as Papageno.
The Magic Flute continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Feb. 25.