That is the conclusion of Mozart’s opera ‘The Magic Flute’, but to get there we go through a series of fantastical scenes and adventures. We were treated to a magical evening by Opera Mint at St. David’s Uniting Church on 2nd March.
Imaginative use was made of the whole of the space in the chapel and even the font was put to good use as a hiding place! When the chorus sang from the gallery behind the audience it put us right in the middle of the action. I saw this as quite appropriate, as in order to make sense of the drama and the various physical and metaphorical journeys that the main characters take, the audience is obliged to undertake their own journey in understanding. At the opening we think we know who the ‘goodies’ and the ‘baddies’ are, but as the drama progresses we realise that things are not what they seem and we end up with our perception of good and bad being turned completely upside down.
This is certainly an ambitious project for an amateur opera company, but it was clear that a lot of thought had been put into it to convey the story through action and expression and with the help of a few simple, yet very effective props.
For me, the strong character of Pamina came across very well and it was sung very confidently by Angela Brown. Tamino and Pamina may have gone through their trials of fire and water, but I think the most courage was shown by Janet Powell as the Queen of the Night – especially in the extremely demanding aria ‘Der Holle Rache’, which trial she came through with flying colours. James Stewart had a very warm bass voice in the role of Sarastro which was pleasing to listen to. Other performances that I enjoyed especially were the three boys and Monostatos. However, I must admit that Trystan Francis just stole the show for me with his lovely clear resonant voice and witty portrayal of cheeky chap Papageno.
There were many other highlights – showing that the whole ensemble worked well together as a team. And not least of all was the skill and stamina shown by the two musicians accompanying and directing the singing – this was truly impressive.
It is quite astonishing that such a remarkable performance should come to our ‘little’ chapel and that we had the opportunity and privilege to experience one of the most popular and greatest works of art of all time – created by the genius that is Mozart more than two hundred years ago!
I shall long remember this as a thoroughly entertaining and marvellous evening.