The Magic Flute on Lake Constance, Austria, 7-2014

The lilting music of Mozart wafts in the open windows of our house during the summer nights. If the breeze is particularly strong sometimes its almost too loud. Oh the sacrifices one must make for art! It’s summer in Bregenz and it’s festival time. And that means that the Viennese Symphonic Orchestra is back in town. Every summer the who’s who of classical music ascends on our small capital and the city is vibrant with cultural activities such as world music, dance, and theatre of all kinds are to be had here on Lake Constance. But the crowning glory of Bregenz is our world renowned floating lake opera the Bregenz Festspiele. This year’s opera was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute. And magic it was. The singing was heavenly, the stage spectacular, and the setting breathtaking.

Every two years the Festspiele stages a world class production that engages the top talent in the opera world and this year was no exception. The director for this elaborate production was David Pourtney with the stage designed by Johan Engles and the costumes and puppets designed by Marie-Jeanne Lecca. Together they created a vision of the fantasy world of Papagayo and Prince Tamino who set out on their quest to free Princess Pamino from Sarastro’s evil hands. The stage was a Shakespearean interpretation of dreams and nightmares complete with forests, monsters, rotating globes, pyrotechnics, and acrobatics. But cutting edge staging aside for me the outstanding performance by Soprano Daniela Fally as the Queen of the Night singing “Der Holle Rache” aria was the highlight of the evening and was simply superb. The power and sheer beauty of her voice was wonderful to behold as was all of the performers. The Bregenz Festspiele did Mozart proud with their staging of his iconic The Magic Flute. I look forward to the 2015 production of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot.

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