Mozart’s sunshine in Panama city
Following on the sonata concert given by the Alexander duo last week, we continue enjoying classical treats with the presentation of Ope...
Following on the sonata concert given by the Alexander duo last week, we continue enjoying classical treats with the presentation of Opera Panama's “The Magic Flute”.
More than fifty artists from Panama, US, Mexico, Austria, Germany and France join together at the National Theater to perform Mozart's last opera.
The artistic and stage direction is by Italian director Robert DeSimone.
Austrian Andreas Fellner is the musical director.
The opera is sung in its original language with side-titles and dialogue in Spanish.
Irena Sylva, who directs the Opera Panama Foundation, is an American artist living and thriving in Panama. She calls the staging of the Magic flute “ A true miracle”.
The show lasts approximately two and a half hours and “was written for the regular folk, not snobs” said Sylva.
The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder.
The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a then-popular form that includes both singing and spoken dialogue.
The opera was premiered in Vienna on 30 September 1791, at the suburban Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden.
Mozart conducted the orchestra, Schikaneder himself played Papageno, while the role of the Queen of the Night was sung by Mozart's sister-in-law Josepha Hofer.
The story is set in ancient Egypt and, while I am not going to give away the plot, it tells the story of a prince that battles evil forces to rescue a princess.
The Magic Flute has many story lines running simultaneously and implements different types of musical styles, including popular genres typical of strophic folk music, choruses and elaborate operatic arias.
The message in this opera is imparted in dualities: it’s a story of simplicity and intrigue, wisdom and ignorance, love and hate, and is both comic and sublime.
It is an opera accessible to the entire audience whether they wish to sit back and have fun or delve more deeply into archetypal characters and their allegorical significance.
For those who want a quick review of the show, check the film version made in 2006 by Kenneth Branagh.
Mozart's full name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. He was one of the most prolific and influential composers of the Classical era.
He composed over six hundred works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concerto, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music.
Russian composer Antonin Dvorak said of him, “Mozart is sunshine”.
ROOTS THAT GROW
Because opera encompasses the arts of singing, orchestra, ballet, visual arts, set design and building, lighting design and building, costume designs and making of costumes, make-up artists, wigs, etc., the production of an opera not only sets a standard of entertainment that defines the culture of the most prestigious nations, it also has a very practical aspect as well: employment.
Added benefits are the development of higher artistic talent and, most important - at least for me - the blessing of diversity.
We get enough reggaeton and pop but not nearly enough classical performances to encourage our youth to perform in them.
The Opera Panama Foundation has been created to establish Panama’s own opera company and give our own artists the chance to train and perform both locally and internationally.
Under Sylva’s direction, the Foundation has presented Madame Butterfly (2008) and this year’s “Opera Magic”.
You can contribute to Panama's growth into cultural excellence by making a donation.
For information about becoming a member or making donations, contact the Foundation at 390-8622 or email@example.com
Tickets for the Magic flute go from $10 to $100 and can be purchased at Blockbuster stores.
Be a responsible supporter of opera: Be punctual, the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Wear your best, and see you there.