Notes and Editorial Reviews
Glyndebourne's 1978 production of Mozart's Zauberflote received as much critical acclaim for the imaginative David Hockney sets as for the operatic performance. Hockney, known internationally for his pop art, emphasised the magical and mystical qualities of one of Mozart's best known operas, and the spirit was reflected in John Cox's production.
Mozart's tale of Papageno and Prince Tamino's quest to rescue Pamina and overthrow the Queen of the Night is one of his best loved and here receives a stellar treatment with Leo Goeke, Felicity Lott and Benjamin Luxon in the lead roles, and Bernard Haitink conducting.
Please note that Die Zauberflote will be one of the featured operas of Glyndebourne's 2004 Festival (20
May - 29 August).
Leo Goeke, Felicity Lott, Benjamin Luxon, Elizabeth Conquet, May Sandoz, Thomas Thomaschke
The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glyndebourne Chorus, Bernard Haitink
Design by David Hockney
Stage Production by John Cox
Production for TV by Dave Heather
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Menu languages: English, German, French, Spanish
Subtitle languages: English, German, French, Spanish
Running Time: 163 mins
Region Code: 0
R E V I E W S
The Arthaus Musik DVD is a live performance by the Glyndebourne Opera in 1978. It was directed by John Cox and designed by David Hockney. During the overture, first one sees Hockney and his assistants creating the design, then the cast is identified when Cox directs them, and finally the conductor, Bernard Haitink and the orchestra are shown. Hockney’s design is brilliant and faithful to both the magical theme and the ancient Egyptian motif of the opera. Most notable are the colorful sets and the design for the animals. When the Queen of the Night enters, the background changes to a starry sky. The antics of the animals when Tamino plays his flute to entice them are visually delightful. During the trial scene, Pamina and Tamino first walk back into fire and then into rolling waves of water.
Haitink conducts an excellent reading of the score. Felicty Lott is a first rate Pamina, Leo Goeke a fine Tamino, Benjamin Luxon a vocally excellent Papageno, Thomas Thomaschke has the required low notes for Sarastro, and May Sandoz has the high notes for the Queen of the Night. Willard White is luxury casting for the speaker, and John Fryatt is a competent Monostatos. The three ladies are well performed by Teresa Cahill, Patrica Parker, and Fiona Kimm. The three boys, sung by females Kate Flowers, Lindsay John, and Elizabeth Stokes, are vocally good, but I feel that boy sopranos are more faithful to Mozart. The Hockney sets are also available on DVD in a performance from the Metropolitan, conducted excellently by James Levine and featuring an all-star cast of Kathleen Battle, Francisco Ariaza, Manfred Hemm, Luciana Serra, Kurt Moll, and Andreas Schmidt. In this production, the three boys are sung by boy sopranos. It would be my first choice, but the Glyndebourne set runs a very close second.
Bob Rose, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
Die Zauberflöte, K 620 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Thomas Thomaschke (Bass),
Benjamin Luxon (Baritone),
Felicity Lott (Soprano),
Leo Goeke (Tenor),
Elizabeth Conquet (Soprano),
May Sandoz (Soprano)
London Philharmonic Orchestra,
Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria
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