Unfortunately, I was not able to go and see the Magic Flute. Pity me because I heard it was a smash hit. Thus, I cannot tell you what I thought it was or how great the production was, what the surprises were, how different from the previous ones that Opera York did. I understand that it was done in a traditional way with modernized technics, like projections instead of sets that are cumbersome to change. All that you can read in another reviewer’s post.
I did have some conversations with a couple of people contributing, mainly, volunteers, and they were over the moon about the opportunity. Other cast members and production artist were not available for comment, more’s the pity. I would have loved to hear about how the concepts came to fruition. This is important to understand if you consider that an entire opera gets put on for only 2 performances, on a shoestring budget, where no one, and I mean no one, gets paid what they are worth. This can only happen with artists, I feel. They have the generosity of heart to share their dreams with the world.
Opera York proved again that working with professionals, newer and seasoned, as well as volunteers, makes for fascinating community engagement.
There is one piece of interesting trivia I can leave you with: The Queen of the Night is required to sing a very difficult coloratura aria, in which she has to be able to reach a level F6 above top C. I cannot even imagine what that looks like on paper. Mariah Carey can do it, but perhaps not in a sustained long aria. However, there have been other most daring sopranos who dazzled us, like Josepha Hofer, Mozart’s sister-in-law, the original Queen of the Night, and German opera singer Diana Damrau. My all-time favourite was Maria Callas. Her totally bell clear and effortless soprano mastered the Queen of the Night with exceptional ease and bravura. You can find others on you tube.