The Magic Flute (Sept 2011)

In SCO’s 2011 production, Pamina is played as a modern day adolescent with a crush on Pop star Prince Tamino.

Director Gavin Magenty’s captivating and original intrepretation of this opera begins with a young girl’s dream – that of Pamina, beautifully sung by Andrea Tweedale. In her dreams, she and Tamino fall in love. But before they can be together, she and Tamino, a true-hearted lad played by true tenor Richard Hansen, have to face many trials. These are thoughtfully provided by SCO’s chorus. Engaging in physical theatre, they transform themselves into a writhing green serpent, as well as leaping flames and plumes of water.

In her dreams, Pamina sees her estranged mother as the Queen of the Night and her father as Sarastro, the High Priest (who incidentally bears an uncanny resemblance to Harry Potter’s Dumbledore). Titanic battles ensue between Sarastro -beautifully sung by Stephen Godward -and The Queen of the Night. Lorraine Webb, mesmeric in this role, reached the famous stratospheric high ‘F’ with deceptive ease. Matthew Palmer, meanwhile, was an engaging and well-sung Papageno, while the fearsomely costumed Monostatos with two dancers ‘attached’ made a compelling monster. The silvery tones of the three ladies played by Alison Robertson, Emma Magenty and Gina Walters, were literally enchanting. Meanwhile the cheery blended tones of the three Boys, played as Boy Scouts by Rosie Williamson, Catherine Noble and Debra Finch, were a delight to hear. The remaining characters and the chorus added to the musical excellence of this performance.

Meanwhile the SCO orchestra, notable for its musicianship and led by Musical Director Gavin Usher, performed right in the middle of the stage, underscoring the action.