It’s high art by way of the Cartoon Network.
That seems to be one of the reasons behind the excessively-stylized mounting of Mozart’s beloved opera “The Magic Flute,” set to hurl itself into action Nov. 14-22 at the Minnesota Opera.
This production, which apparently is a curiosity in all the right ways, aims to blend live-action, animation, and theater spectacle into one total theatrical experience, and it comes courtesy of the Komische Oper Berlin and the British-based theater troupe 1927.
It’s whimsy of a very high order, and based on its acclaimed international reception, not to be scoffed at. For those who don’t know “The Magic Flute,” it’s an allegorical blend of good versus evil, freemasonry, lost princes and child sprites heralding the dawn, a serpent, the Queen of the Night, with the sun triumphing over the night in the grand finale (if that seems like a plot spoiler, rest assured, there’s more than enough plot on hand to keep you from being less-than-surprised, let alone bored).
But, in this case, it’s the staging that should send folks scurrying for tickets; that’s what’s happened in every major venue the production has been staged (and, it should be noted, this showing is also a co-production with the L.A. Opera).
The animated elements, which are synchronized with the live action on stage, promise their own form of enlightenment, which is only fitting since Mozart’s masterwork is, in its own way, about our collective pursuit of enlightenment as a human race.
With soaring arias, comedic moments, glorious voices, and precise cartooning, all with a European gilt-edge, this is one mounting perfect for opera regulars, as well as first-timers.
After all, when’s the last time you’ve seen what appear to be animated chorus girls shoot up vertically in a long line out of a suitcase case, on a roof top, fronted by a series of what appear to be wolves, arms akimbo, standing in chimneys?
Now, come on … when?