The Magic Flute Reviews
Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended
"...The principal cast is most impressive at the requisite precision. Petrov, a plaintive Belarusian tenor, is the most successful when it comes to humanizing the experience, although the sheer stasis and force of the German bass Nazmi’s performance also is a blow in the right direction. Dufy, confined by bizarre costuming, persists, and Fang, the Chinese soprano, beautifully renders “Ach, ich fuhl’s,” while gamely wresting with a conception that evokes Mary Pickford, bobbed wig and all."
Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended
"...Lyric Opera’s new production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” which opened Wednesday at the Lyric Opera House, is a feast on multiple levels. For the eye certainly, with dazzling, non-stop animation channeling everything from the intricate, fantastical machines of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” the fabled BBC comedy hit of the early 1970s; Victorian-era greeting cards; and the ornate, intertitle cards of early silent movies. And for the ear definitely, with a uniformly strong cast and the Lyric Opera Orchestra sounding both lush and buoyant under conductor Karen Kamensek."
Daily Herald- Highly Recommended
"..."The Magic Flute" at the Lyric overflows with wowing animated visuals and beautifully sung performances. Don't be surprised if tickets become scarce, because word-of-mouth should make this superlative show a sell out."
Chicago On the Aisle- Highly Recommended
"...Currently on the boards is "The Magic Flute" in a now famously brash Barrie Kosky/Suzanne Andrade production that has been around since 2013 and seen in Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles, New York and other capitals. It plays out against the facade of a great wall that acts like a silent movie screen, the camera's flickering white light and all. Little windows and ledges in the wall pop open from time to time, allowing real singers to lean or step out to sing Mozart's real music as they interact with wildly unreal cartoons of giant bugs, fairies, skeletons, even pink elephants, oh, my! Prince Tamino, fighting off a dragon, lands inside the reptile's "scary" stomach for a while, bouncing around with soup cans and other swallowed junk. What fun."
Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended
"...This new-to-Chicago production of Mozart's Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) is the most unique production this writer has seen in eight years of reviewing Lyric Opera! Revisionist, heavily animated and inspired by silent film, the production is more like the riskier fare one expects from Chicago Opera Theater. Originally debuted by Komische Oper Berlin in 2012, the production has been enjoyed by audiences around the world for nearly a decade. This revival production was co-produced by Los Angeles Opera and Minnesota Opera."
Splash Magazine- Highly Recommended
"...The real star of this version of The Magic Flute is the production. The Lyric Opera’s new-to-Chicago production is imported from Germany, where it was originated at the Komische Oper Berlin. It was created by Suzanne Andrade the co-founder of London-based theatrical company 1927 and Barrie Kosky of the Komische Oper Berlin and has been seen by over 700,000 in Germany alone. It’s been performed in the U.S. in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia before coming here under the oversight of revival director Tobias Ribitzki."
Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended
"...Theatre is a visual medium: this production of The Magic Flute is quite decisive about that. Originally conceived of by Komische Oper Berlin's artistic director Barrie Kosky and London-based theatre company 1927 co-director Suzanne Andrade, the new-to-Chicago production at the Lyric is a smorgasbord of creepy silent film/stop motion animation era visuals. Not that they don't fit Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's strange, fever dream singspiel, which glides episodically between fantastic scenes of menace accompanied by ethereal music. But when the show opens with a projection of a dragon that puts Fafner to shame and they only get wilder from there, there's no doubt this is an opera that can only be seen."
Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended
"...It doesn’t get much more classic than Mozart’s The Magic Flute. As one of the most well-known works from one of the world’s most well-known composers, its soaring melodies and whimsical story of prince rescuing princess have been enchanting audiences for centuries. This is a piece that has been produced constantly all over the world for hundreds of years— with such a thick history, reinvention is difficult to imagine. Difficult, but not impossible. Lyric Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, originally re-imagined by director Barrie Kosky in collaboration with performance company 1927, transforms the all too familiar material into an utterly unpredictable celebration of light, sound, technology and innovation."
Picture This Post- Highly Recommended
"...Instead of spoken narrative in the style of a singspiel that The Magic Flute traditionally adheres to, the storyline is conveyed with both thoughts and dialogue being presented in the black and white titles typical of silent films, title cards, accompanied by pianoforte. As the script requires, the percussion section adds special effects like thunder and explosions, using devices more typical of radio theater. When Papageno (Huw Montague Rendall) bursts on the scene looking like a Buster Keaton doll, our transport to the world of silent film takes another leap."