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A well-travelled Die Zauberflöte enjoys an amazing success in Valencia – Seen and Heard Worldwide




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 Evening) © 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
Clergymen / Armed Males – Alejandro López, Jorge Franco
Queen of the Evening – 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, some of the well-liked within the repertoire. It was final seen in Valencia in 2013, when it additionally closed the opera season. The present efficiency was a winner, when it comes to 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, Pageant 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 very least lately.

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

The stage is nearly naked – the important thing components are a big platform within the middle and a display screen on the again. The platform modifications form and elevation ceaselessly: generally 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 pictures, 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 route is imaginative, with the motion introduced to the current time when it comes to 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 Evening is performed as an outdated girl in a wheelchair, and that the youngsters accompanying Tamino are disguised as outdated individuals. 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, significantly within the first half. He has turn into a decisive musical pressure in Valencia. As all the time, the Valencia orchestra was spectacular, and the identical might be stated of the refrain.

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

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

The Queen of the Evening was soprano Rainelle Krause, a lightweight soprano who’s conversant in 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 obtained the largest ovation of the night time.

Iria Goti was wonderful 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 outdated males) who belong to the Trinity Boys Choir.

José M. Irurzun