Thursday 18 October 2007

The Magic Flute

Yesterday, we took some of the sixth form to see The Magic Flute, aka, Die Zauberflote at ENO. Hard life, I know. I did get home at 12.15am and then get up at 6am to teach all day today....

I usually prefer things in the original language, but this being a Singspiel with spoken dialogue, it was very immediate and funny in English. I hadn't been there since it's all been refurbished and it's a beautiful theatre. The singing translation worked very well with Mozart's phrsaing and there was some fantastic singing particularly from Papageno and the three boys.

This is the third time I've seen Magic Flute and the whole masonry, enlightenment thing seemed very strong. Or maybe I just know slightly more. My first experience was my first term in secondary school at a Schools' Matinee at the ROH. In German of course. Didn't understand anything even faintly, but thought it was very exciting. I spent lots of these performances (for members of the choir and orch got first go at the tickets, so I went about once a term - lucky eh!) looking into the orchestra pit. Opera the total art form, something for everyone...

I'm not known for being a strident feminist. Having woman teachers back five generations, plus plenty of feisty women in the family and very kind men, doesn't give you much of an axe to grind. That said it did really bring out the apparent misogyny of masonry. Put women in their place etc. Not attractive, and of course the Queen of the Night is the baddie with her three side kicks.

Will have to read the libretto methinks and dust down some books. Half term beckons.

A great production and as it was the last night all the techie people came onto the stage for a bow. Needless to say, the orch were mostly packed up and gone when the conductor gestured down to them.

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