The Magic Flute Review: A Magical Flute Indeed!

Misha Tsirlin, age 14

What is magic? Not the rabbit-in-the-hat magic, but true magic? Magic is a kind of energy, created or emitted by people or objects, and is used to create somethingwonderous. More than that it is used to create something with meaning; something that comes from the heart.

Theatre junkies will agree that most often they feel this kind of magic when watching live theatre and when the performance is truly genuine and heartfelt. If you believe in this power, then you will definitely feel it watching Opera Lyra’s The Magic Flute, where the magic comes not from any musical instrument but the performers. Through their strong singing, the actors are able to send out this energy into the audience to captivate the spectators of all ages.

The addition of the children’s choir is  a great opportunity for the children to experience theatre, but it can be somewhat distracting at times. During this particular performance, the children were whispering to each other when they weren’t singing or talking, and when it was their turn to sing or talk, they would almost cluelessly set themselves up and are often guided by one of the professional actors or the stage manager..

I have heard that one of the strongest human qualities is breaking stereotypes. Most often when we think of opera we think of a tragic play sung in Italian or German.This adaptation of The Magic Flute definitely breaks the traditional mould. It is aimed at younger audiences, yet the humour throughout the piece entertains older kids and adults just as much, if not more. Sometimes when shows are aimed towards a younger audience the humour is often juvenile if not immature, however, this production showcases a slightly more sophisticated style of comedy.

The message in this show- good conquers evil- is one that some might consider stereotypical or clichéd, but this show once again puts an unconventional spin on things. Instead of things being black and white, we see good characters fighting for the bad guys, and being confused about who is good and who is evil, until the energy and warmth of Sarastro’s Council of Wisdom fills the souls of those who have been tricked by darkness.

The stage, designed by John Doucet, is relatively simple in this piece with just enough risers and flats to accomplish what needs to be done by the actors and decorated in such a way to create an atmosphere of outer-space. The overall design of this production defies the notion that better decorations make the show richer. Instead, the performers make an amazing and rich show simply by using their own talent, though the colourful and eye-catching costumes , designed by Sarah Waghorn, are definitely not a drawback.

To conclude, The Magic Flute, presented by Opera Lyra, is a fun and fresh adaptation of Mozart’s original opera that breaks stereotypes and clichés. It is an excellent introduction to opera for children, yet it is also enjoyable for more mature audiences. Simply put, this show is an amazing piece of art that demonstrates all the energy and talent that makes a show captivating and, dare I say, truly magical.