Mozart for the People!
February 19th, 2013
This weekend is Mozart for the People![audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Mozart-Magic-web.mp3]
When Opera Omaha set out to stage a new production of Mozartâ€™s popular opera, â€œThe Magic Flute,â€ the decision was made to remain as faithful as possible to Mozartâ€™s intentions. Conductor Nicholas Cleobury says that at itâ€™s most fundamental level, â€œThe Magic Fluteâ€ was entertainment for the common people.
â€œMozart was really bringing music back to its roots, having done court opera and Italian opera and so forth, this was really the peopleâ€™s opera – music and theatre for the people. It was off-broadway, on the edge of town, it wasnâ€™t at all a sophisticated place, and ordinary people who perhaps thought opera wasnâ€™t for them could relate to the piece. I think that has to be one of the main reasons itâ€™s still so popular today.
At the time Italian was still the language of opera, but Mozart chose to present â€œThe Magic Fluteâ€ in the language of the people: German. Maestro Cleobury says this production will be performed in English. He points out the libretto was prepared specifically for an American audience.
â€œWhat David Gottfried has done is cut a lot of the dialogue down – there is some quite long dialogue in the original – and put in a lot of contemporary allusions. I can say this as an Englishman, itâ€™s really quite American – and quite right! Itâ€™s of the place itâ€™s being done in. Thereâ€™s no point in having Swedish and Polish jokes in an opera thatâ€™s being done in America.â€
To accompany this American take on Mozart is a 21st-century approach to set design by world-renowned Omaha Artist Jun Kaneko.
â€œThe scenery for this is 1200 projected animated sequences on five projection surfaces from seven different projectors. So it is a high-tech coordination event.
That was Stage Director Garnett Bruce. Bruce says this reflects what a modern audience, familiar with television, computers, and smart phones, expects from a stage production.
â€œCreating a way to keep your eye as engaged as your ear, which is something I think a 21st century audience wants to know. So if a Kaneko sculpture could come to life and move around, thatâ€™s whatâ€™s been created here on stage.â€
Opera Omaha presents Mozartâ€™s â€œThe Magic Fluteâ€ on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, February 24 at 2 PM. Both performances are in the Orpheum Theater.
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