BPH culture

The Magic Flute as a victim of unbridled fantasy

The premiere of Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" at the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theater was both long-awaited and dramatic. Now I'm not talking about the twists and turns and surprises that are inevitable in any large-scale production - like the urgent replacement of the soloist during the action in the play on November 13.

The premiere was nurtured for so long and so painfully that, willy-nilly, you want to forgive shortcomings, flaws, overlaps ... But there are fundamental things that cannot be passed over in silence.

Mozart's singspiel has gone through a lot of productions and directorial decisions. From the monumental academicism of Peter Ustinov to the circus tent of Achim Fryer, from the careful innovation of Ingmar Bergman to the fresh, ultra-modern version of Graham Wick at the Bolshoi Theater.

I am ready to accept even a farcical version of The Magic Flute, but only if it is artistically convincing and complete. But there are problems with this in Voronezh. With all due respect to the artist Yevgeny Ivanov, well, there is no single visual concept in the performance. The extraordinary diversity reigns on the stage. As if from a palette of colors, from all eras and countries, a little bit of everything was pulled and mixed in one dish. So (creative) hunger and long abstinence make you rake everything into a plate, indiscriminately. In this aesthetic mess, even undoubtedly successful finds are lost, like the glowing crinoline of the Queen of the Night.

The same problem with the director's decision (director Alexander Zykov). With all the diligence, no traces of an integral director's concept could be found in this performance. The action sparkles, splashes and ... crumbles into separate pieces-episodes, not united by meaning, idea, through action.

The director's fantasy is overwhelming. Instead of three glorious boys, he has six angels in the uniform of American Air Force pilots, three of whom dashingly ride rollerblading, but do not sing. A circus-zoo of grimacing exotic animals appears on the stage three times. At least two of these exits do not carry any semantic load, except for the desire to amuse the audience once more.

The image of a crocodile runs through the whole performance. In it, Monostatos holds the captive Pamina. The sage Sarastro sits on it. A team of workers in overalls and orange helmets moves the scenery along the course of the action. The choir is dressed in all orange, and the cut of the clothes is borrowed from the twenties of the "Komsomol" years. Papageno rides a bike. Then Sarastro borrows this bike and rides it dashingly backstage in the finale of the first act.

At the end of the performance, the apotheosis of reason and light is replaced by the distribution of ice cream from a cart, borrowed, in my opinion, from the operetta "Sevastopol Waltz". And the corpse of the Queen of the Night, which is taken to the stage in a cage, is already blatant bad taste.

The desire to throw everything onto the stage at once, alas, led to the fact that the performance turned out to be aesthetically trashy and insanely eclectic. At the end of the action, eclecticism reigns supreme.

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