A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


The Magic Flute - Papageno & Argentine Birds
Friday, February 09, 2007

Last night Rosemary and I thoroughly enjoyed Vancouver Opera's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. It was our 39th wedding anniversary. Since I picked her up at work but had to be at the opera in 40 minutes to listen to the Preacher of the Opera (Doug Tuck) give his pre-opera talk we were unable to dine out. I brought some thin bread (with the crusts cut out) egg salad and ham sandwiches and I made some fresh grape juice. This we had in our car, parked in the back alley of Holy Rosary Cathedral.

Even if this had been a terrible production, the music was divine. But it wasn't a terrible production and very much just the opposite. Mozart's opera (normally sung in German sung last night in English with a smattering of local aboriginal languages) was transported to a past, future and present within the society of our west coast native peoples. The sets, the costumes, all were beautiful. It was delightful to spot Karrisa Barry as one of the four dancers.

From our seats in front and to one side we had an added bonus to our night. It was a treat to watch conductor Derrick Inouye's elegant and enthusiastic movements as he silently (?) worded most of the lyrics!

But just as in Mozart's Don Giovanni I was more interested in the womanizer's servant, Leporello, I found Papageno (played just right by Etienne Dupois) the man to watch and listen to in this opera.

Perhaps this was so because he represented the Papageno I will probably never see in a full scale opera. Internationally renowned (well, he is on his way!) Prince George baritone, Tyler Duncan has given enough recitals in Vancouver of many of Papageno's numbers that I wish I could afford to fly to Europe this year where he will sing the part in some fabulous opera house. Last December, Tyler Duncan (Papageno) married Erika Switzer (Papagena) as seen here, above left.

While I have no photographs of this production I wonder if an opera company in Argentina (with the gumption of our very own Vancouver Opera) would dare mount a production of The Magic Flute set in the Argentine pampa and featuring lovely Argentine birds. Here Linda Lorenzo takes on the roles of some Argentine birds. Top left, Hornero, right, Ñandú and bottom left El Federal.


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