Mozart's Zauberflöte continues tour
After a well-deserved summer break, we continue our tour of Mozart's Zauberflöte – the next generation. We kick off on September 13 at the Chassé Theater in Breda. Before the summer, this exciting Dutch adaptation of Mozart's masterpiece was already presented to an enthusiastic audience at Amare in The Hague and the Delamar Theater in Amsterdam.
Never before have we experienced a performance which prompted such exuberant laughter, in which a tear was definitely wiped away, and current themes were addressed. After Breda, the performance can be seen throughout the country until December 3, 2023.
After the performances in The Hague, we asked visitors for a reaction, and they were very enthusiastic. The audience, which already gave us nines and ten-out-of-tens at the try outs, also gave nice comments after the premiere: 'amazingly beautiful'... 'a hit! … ‘beautiful performance’ … ‘we enjoyed it!’.
The reaction of the audience in Amsterdam was also very positive: it gave the performance an average of 8.3/10 and enthusiastic reactions such as: 'Haven't seen such an entertaining, musical and humorous piece in ages. Lots of laughs!' and: 'It's amazing how these people, young and old, put so much energy and passion into the story; a beautiful message, and so beautifully presented, fantastic!!'
Director Theu Boermans and his team, who previously made the large-scale successful production Amadeus (2019), now came up with an exciting and topical adaptation of Mozart's world-famous opera Die Zauberflöte (the Magic Flute).
A challenging new Dutch libretto was written for this performance. It leads to a daring Zauberflöte that is as tragic as it is comical. In a dystopian near future, the populists have seized power. There is no room for women, young people and minorities among these rulers. The young generation is not satisfied with this and goes into battle to dethrone the old rulers. With love as their weapon, they fight for a new world of equality and justice.
Praise for cast
The press was also enthusiastic about this radical new version of Mozart's classic, and it is easy to collect compliments, although the reviewers also had some critical notes. In the 'fresh Dutch translation' (Theaterkrant) by Frans van Deursen, Mozart's masterpiece becomes a performance with 'visual spectacle' (NRC), which gives a 'sharp wake-up call' (Place de l'Opéra), with 'flair en speed' (Opus Klassiek) is played, and 'sometimes moving' (de Volkskrant).
In the spirit of Mozart and librettist Emanuel Schikaneder, a mix of singers and actors has been cast. The fact that not all roles are filled by operatic voices "contributes greatly to the liveliness of the performance" (Opus Classic). As far as vocals are concerned, the actors 'keep up perfectly fine with their dyed-in-the-wool opera colleagues' (Theaterkrant).
Sofia Ferri (Pamina) is 'phenomenal in her role, both in acting and singing technique' (Theater Paradise). "Only jerks keep it dry with the great playing Sofia Ferri" (de Volkskrant), who "carries the performance" (NRC). Roman Brasser 'has a melodious voice' (Theater Paradise) and plays Prince Tamino 'accurately as a Gooise choirboy' (de Volkskrant) with his 'glossy performance' (Place de l'Opera).
'Perfectly cast' (Place de l'Opera) is Jasper van Hofwegen, 'heart-warming in his role as Papageno' (de Telegraaf), a real 'show stealer' (Arts Talk Magazine), a 'justifiable audience favourite' (NRC) and the 'hilarious centerpiece' (Opus Classic). Huub Claessens (Sarastro) silences the audience time after time after the bursts of laughter with his 'deep and warm sound' (Place de l'Opera). Svenja Gabler (Queen of the Night) sounds like 'a nightingale' (Theater Paradise) and manages to 'enchant the audience' (Place de l'Opera).
Spectacular effects and impressive scenography
There is widespread praise for the design of the performance, with 'spectacular effects and the impressive scenography' (Theaterkrant). A 'visual spectacle' according to NRC. Visually the show is spectacular with Bernhard Hammer's décor perfectly matching and often creating the mood. There are a lot of fantastic and very clever projections by Arjen Klerkz – the moment when Tamino plays his magic flute and the forest comes alive was brilliant’ according to Arts Talk Magazine.
The new generation
Many reviews discuss the current interpretation of this 'daring Dutch-language adaptation' (NRC) and of the critical notes are about this. This offers a "sharp wake-up call," according to Place de l'Opéra, that the concept "reflects a possible alternative, dystopian future that exposes many of the political problems we are experiencing in the world today." Often suffused with irony in the direction of Theu Boermans, what for one is 'flat' (NRC), for the other an 'old-fashioned male gaze betrayal' (Theaterkrant) or is described as 'painful, also very witty' (Place de l'Opera).
Mozart's music 'remains divine' (Theaterkrant), and 'proudly standing' (de Telegraaf), with ensemble Ludwig 'guaranteeing a melodious orchestration, conducted by Hernàn Schvartzman' (Theater Paradise). The performance is 'surprisingly smooth and entertaining' (de Telegraaf) and 'very accessible to young and old' (Place de l'Opera).