Outstanding singers, star director Robert Carsen, and the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle: It was in every respect a memorable performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute with which the Berliner Philharmoniker opened their Easter Festival in Baden-Baden in March 2013.
The Canadian Robert Carsen has directed productions for almost every major opera house. He is fascinated by the complexities in the Magic Flute: “It is completely designed around opposites. Day and night, love and hate, man and woman, the hero Tamino and the simple Papageno.” Musically, too, the Magic Flute has an infinite variety – and given the immense popularity of the opera, this wealth is often overlooked. Sir Simon Rattle says: “Let’s not forget what a raging masterpiece the Magic Flute is, and how different it was from anything anybody had done before – even Mozart.”
The Financial Times spoke of a “top-drawer cast”: “Pavol Breslik is all you could wish for in a Tamino, Michael Nagy’s Papageno is charismatic and lithe, Kate Royal gives Pamina subtle complexity as well as grace.” Then there is the added attraction of a special première: the orchestra had never performed the opera live and in its entirety before. Only three studio recordings – under Sir Thomas Beecham in the 30s, Karl Böhm in the 60s, and Herbert von Karajan in the 80s – were previously released. A grand tradition which is continued with this recording.
01 Apr 2013
From the Baden-Baden Easter Festival
SIR SIMON RATTLE
DIMITRY IVASHCHENKO, PAVOL BRESLIK, KATE ROYAL, MICHAEL NAGY
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Magic Flute, K. 620 (159 min.)
Dimitry Ivashchenko Bass Baritone (Sarastro), Pavol Breslik Tenor (Tamino), José van Dam Baritone (Speaker), Andreas Schager Tenor (1st Priest), Jonathan Lemalu Bass (2nd Priest), Ana Durlovski Soprano (The Queen of Night), Kate Royal Soprano (Pamina), Annick Massis Soprano (1st Lady), Magdalena Kožená Mezzo-Soprano (2nd Lady), Nathalie Stutzmann Contralto (3rd Lady), Regula Mühlemann Soprano (Papagena), Michael Nagy Baritone (Papageno), James Elliott Tenor (Monostatos), Benjamin Hulett Tenor (1st Armoured Man), David Jerusalem Bassbariton (2nd Armoured Man), Rundfunkchor Berlin, Simon Halsey Chorus Master, Robert Carsen Director, Petra Reinhardt Costumes, Michael Levine Set Design, Peter van Praet and Robert Carsen Light Design
Mozart’s “Magic Flute”: an introduction by Sir Simon Rattle (17 min.)
Robert Carsen on his staging of »The Magic Flute« (11 min.)
Mozart’s »Magic Flute« in Baden-Baden: behind the scenes (14 min.)