Thursday, June 11, 2009

Operamania 101: The Magic Flute As You've Never Seen It Before

Although Kenneth Branagh's The Magic Flute was released overseas in 2007, it's just being released in Vancouver tomorrow. Branagh, director of Shakespeare's Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and Love's Labour's Lost has re-worked Mozart's beloved fairy tale opera.

Opera fans should expect the movie to be different than how they'd normally watch Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. For starters, the movie is sung all in English (rather than in German) and is set against the backdrop of World War I. This fantasy/dramedy also utilizes computer graphics, coloured screens and CGI wizardry.

A fairy tale about a prince, his sidekick, a princess and the queen of the night, The Magic Flute is a story about following your heart and is chock full of love and hate, good and evil, knowledge and philosophy. Canadian tenor Joseph Kaiser plays lead character, Tamino.

Purists may be skeptical about the movie, but if you're a fan of Branagh's, it may be worth a look. A Magic Flute you've never seen before. Could be cinematic magic.

~ Ling Chan

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