Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, MOZART: The Magic Flute

Justin Davidson

By Justin Davidson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Opera lay at the heart of Mozart's inspiration. He was moved by words and characters, and the dramatic styles he developed for the stage spilled into concertos, symphonies and chamber music. Actually, Die Zauberflöte isn't really an opera at all, but a Singspiel. In German instead of Italian, with spoken dialogue instead of sung recitative, geared to a rough and rowdy audience in the working class suburbs of Vienna rather than to the aristocracy downtown, The Magic Flute was written as a work of populist entertainment. It's too bad that its home is now in glistering opera houses, but even the red velvet crowd tends to fall for the birdman Papageno, who craves only food, wine and a pretty little birdlady, and who gets some of the most appealing tunes.