Ekaterina Siurina (Pamina) and Charles Castronovo (Tamino) in The Magic Flute, Santa Fe Opera, 2010 (photo by Ken Howard)
The somewhat dry acoustic of the Crosby Theater (named after SFO founder John Crosby), due to its fascinating semi-open air design and lack of walls, allows for every detail to be heard, especially in some of the sweet spots for the singers near the front of the stage. Indeed, during the last week of July the Concert Hall Research Group of world’s top acousticians held their quadrennial Summer Institute in Santa Fe and were given a backstage tour of the Crosby Theater by the architect of the current facility. One physicist in attendance regarded the facility as “truly amazing.”
Mozart, Die Zauberflöte, Akademie für Alte Musik, R. Jacobs
(release on September 14, 2010)
Heidi Waleson, Santa Fe's Busy 'Tales,' Bloody 'Butterfly,' Tinny 'Flute' (Wall Street Journal, August 14)
Sarah Bryan Miller, Santa Fe Opera: Benign "Magic Flute," flawed "Life is a Dream" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 9)
Scott Cantrell, 'The Magic Flute' at Santa Fe is welcome, if not the best we've seen (Dallas Morning News, August 6)
Kyle MacMillan, Santa Fe Opera storms into season (Denver Post, July 18)
James M. Keller, 'Magic Flute' enlightens and enchants (Santa Fe New Mexican, July 4)
Charles's 2006 review of this production by stage director Tim Albery details the anachronism of costumes that distract from the larger themes of the opera: Sarastro and the priests in 18th-century costumes, Monostatos and his henchmen as Nazi soldiers, the Queen of the Night and the three ladies as Elizabethan noblewomen, Papageno as the Ugly American Tourist, Tamino as a Renaissance prince, and Pamina as a 50s Annette Funicello. Charles did not mention the costumes of the three spirits: boys bizarrely dressed in orange robes as Hare Krishna ascetics with latex cap and all: perhaps the connection to the opera is that the Indian God Krishna plays the flute. The most outstanding music, particularly the works of J. S. Bach, can sound wonderful even when butchered. The Magic Flute contains such exceptional music that even if it were set on an ant farm or in South Park, the delightful experience of the music would suffice.
Performances of The Magic Flute continue at Santa Fe Opera through August 27.