#BrumHour was invited to The Magic Flute by WNO and Birmingham Hippodrome.
By Julie Wallis twitter.com/nicenic63
WNO: The Magic Flute
at Birmingham Hippodrome
Directed by Dominic Cooke
WNO (Welsh National Opera) is in town at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 9th March. Last night #Brumhour Dave and I went in search of a little culture by means of The Magic Flute with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart no less!
This magical tale starts with Tamino (Ben Johnson) being chased by a huge crustacean. Tamino is rescued by three ladies in waiting (Jennifer Davis, Kezia Bienek and Emma Carrington) but when the bird catcher Papageno (Mark Stone) tries to claim he rescued Tamino the three ladies in waiting punish him.
The ladies in waiting work for the Queen of the night (Anna Siminska) and when the queen shows Tamino a picture of her daughter Pamina (Anita Watson) who is being held prisoner by Sarastro (Jihoon Kim) Tamino falls in love with Pamina and vows he will rescue her.
Tamino is given a Magic Flute to aid in his rescue mission, and his accomplice Papageno is given magic bells. Papageno finds love then loses her again, but thanks to his magic bells Papagena (Claire Hampton) and Papageno are reunited.
There is a lot more to this story, but I’m not using all my word count on the synopsis.
The set barely changes through put the performance and consists of three walls each with three doors, but by the magic of the business called show, we the audience know when we are in the woods or in Sarastro’s lair.
This was my second opera and the second time I have thoroughly enjoyed the WNO, last time being Die Fledermaus and The Magic Flute was equally as entertaining. With a generous amount of gentle humour throughout. The story is easy to follow, as well as being sung in English there are surtitles above the stage too. So for anyone who has never enjoyed opera because they fear they will not understand it, the WNO really is the one to try.
A delight from start to finish I was totally enthralled with both the story and the beautiful voices. Impossible as it is, if I was to pick a favourite it would have to be Papageno as I loved his singing voice and he does get a lot of the best (funny) lines. But I was also impressed with Sarastro’s voice, it’s just so deep. The three ladies in waiting also had beautifully complimentary voices.
Last night’s opera was much more an evening of escapism than I was expecting it to be, with a few lines of spoken dialogue just to bring the audience up to speed with unseen events, a night at the opera doesn’t have to be hard work. After all, where else can you get two love stories intertwined with magic, a hot air balloon, and a lion thrown in for good measure?
WNO is at Birmingham Hippodrome until 9th March with Roberto Devereux and The Magic Flute. The next season of WNO at Birmingham Hippodrome is from 5th-9th November with Carmen, Rigoletto and the Cunning Little Vixen. Book tickets here:birminghamhippodrome.com/whats-on
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not blogging theatre for #BrumHour, Julie Wallis can be found on her own blog at redandgoldweb.wordpress.com