A quick look at audience reaction to The Magic Flute:
And what the critics are saying about The Magic Flute:
"...funny and charming while retaining its bite and a proper sense of mystery, a balance one longs for in the Flute but rarely finds." - Opera Now, Robert Thicknesse, 30/03/2012
"this Flute is a decided triumph, and one I’d certainly be queuing to see again at a revival." - Opera Britannia, Terry Blain, 15/02/2012
"marvellously inventive... The singing was excellent, as was the orchestral accompaniment, directed by Brenda Hurley. The imaginative sets and costumes contributed to the production's zaniness... Papageno's duet with Papagena was deliciously done." - Irish Examiner, 04/02/2012
"While there was plenty of drama and tension, it was still an uplifting show, a perfect tonic for a chill winter evening... Thanks to an energetic cast, both acts fizzled along with joy and enthusiasm... a huge hit with the capacity audience." - The Evening Echo, Mary Smithwick, 01/02/2012
"It’s an interesting question how much Mozart bought into the misogyny that peppers the libretto of his great panto-opera... It’s left to Annilese Miskimmon, artistic director of what is now Ireland’s major company, Opera Theatre Company, to take it on. And she does it very entertainingly in this touring production, with nothing spurious and no hint of hectoring, by spinning the characters and action in a way that actually makes you think new things, a rare and welcome feeling in the opera house. Miskimmon manages to make the show funny and charming while retaining its bite and a proper sense of mystery, a balance one longs for in the Flute but rarely finds. It’s energetically performed in Nicky Shaw’s clever trapdoors-and-ladders design, with smart visual larks on top of the slapstick and character-comedy. ...this Flute plays some sweetly profound tunes." - The Tablet, Robert Thicknesse 14/01/2012
In January 2012, The Magic Flute received an Irish Times Theatre Award nomination for Best Opera production.
"a fine six-piece ensemble ... under clear, responsive direction from the piano of Brenda Hurley ... the delightful, mischievous balancing act performed by director Annilese Miskimmon between comic and serious... the design team wittily lights and sets the story in roughly 1912 ... providing great comic space ..." - The Irish Times, Michael Dungan 29/11/2011
"...well-characterised interpretations, not least Owen Gilhooly's excellent Papageno. Alison Bell showers the Queen of the Night's coloratura fireworks with assured expression ... From her piano and celesta, Brenda Hurley's musical direction is understanding. She ensures her instrumental quintet, using Cameron Sinclair's cunning reduction of the score, supports the singers' spirited teamwork in this physically energetic and trapdoor-slamming production." - The Irish Independent, Pat O'Kelly 29/11/2011
"ingeniously reduced instrumentation by Cameron Sinclair... worked marvellously, evoking the musical world of Mozart's sublime Piano and Wind Quintet, and revealing details of the original woodwind scoring that are often subsumed beneath a plush string underlay in the full orchestration ... Owen Gilhooly's bumptious bird-man is hugely engaging and strongly sung, while Mary O'Sullivan is a plump and pleasing Papagena ... Nathan Morrison (ed's note: OTC Young Associate Artist)'s mellifluous Speaker... a beautiful, technically assured voice. Best of all was a radiant Pamina from Emma Morwood, a Belfast-born soprano with star potential and one of several Irish singers worth nurturing in her native land.
This lively, well-sung Flute tours Ireland this week, then again from January 26 to February 18, including one date in the north, at the Down Arts Centre, in Downpatrick." - Hugh Canning 04/12/2011 Full review behind The Sunday Times pay wall
"Adrian Dwyer (Tamino) had the ringingly ardent tenor the part needs, and avoided the kind of soppiness it can easily descend to... Matthew Treviño truly galvanised attention: his Sarastro was magnetically sung and acted... The six-piece band gave an energetic, propulsive account of Cameron Sinclair's reduced orchestration, directed by Brenda Hurley from the piano. The evening was, however, ultimately director Annilese Miskimmon's triumph... Her Act Two in particular is a locus classicus of acuity and clarity, the most probing and revelatory I've seen in thirty years attending productions of the opera. - Irish Theatre Magazine, Terry Blain 06/12/2011