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Magic Flute

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ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
After a trip to Amsterdam in the summer of 2008, Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed brought back a curious souvenir: a three-disc Dutch edition of Kenneth Branagh's "The Magic Flute,” which he'd spotted in a remote record-store window. Upon returning home, he watched the 2006 film adaptation of Mozart's opera and was so moved that he wrote: “I am at a loss to understand why this film has been marginalized. 'Flute' is a joy.” The Branagh film, updating the opera from 1791 to World War I, premiered at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals and had limited overseas runs; but it has never showed in the U.S. -- until now. PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage On June 9, the Branagh-directed “Flute” is scheduled to screen at about 150 Emerging Pictures theaters across the country.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
With its show-business staging of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as a cheekily animated silent movie, Los Angeles Opera on Saturday night got what it very much needs. That this will be a hit goes without saying. But what this once pioneering company really needs right now is a reason to be talked about again. So let's talk about Barrie Kosky, one of the hot directors on the international scene and, like most hot directors on the international scene, ignored in America. Not too many American opera companies dare hire directors who put buckets of excrement onstage, as Kosky did in a recent German production of Janácek's "From the House of the Dead.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
With its show-business staging of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as a cheekily animated silent movie, Los Angeles Opera on Saturday night got what it very much needs. That this will be a hit goes without saying. But what this once pioneering company really needs right now is a reason to be talked about again. So let's talk about Barrie Kosky, one of the hot directors on the international scene and, like most hot directors on the international scene, ignored in America. Not too many American opera companies dare hire directors who put buckets of excrement onstage, as Kosky did in a recent German production of Janácek's "From the House of the Dead.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
In a bare rehearsal space downtown at the Music Center, a dozen or so people work through a scene in the dark. The only light comes from projected black-and-white animation flickering on the back wall of the stage - a nude fairy fluttering her wings atop a tree, a black cat leaping over a glowing full moon. Rodell Rosel, who plays the lovesick Monostatos in this Los Angeles Opera production of "The Magic Flute," gestures wildly from a vine-covered balcony; he is crooning his affection for Pamina (Janai Brugger)
NEWS
November 3, 2005 | Chris Pasles
Kenneth Branagh will direct a film version of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," the BBC reports. James Conlon, who becomes music director for the Los Angeles Opera in 2006-07, will conduct the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Filming will begin in January at London's Shepperton Studios. Stephen Fry, who collaborated with Branagh on the 1992 Branagh-directed film "Peter's Friends," wrote the libretto, transferring the setting to World War I.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 1995 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
It wasn't Mozart's "Die Zauberflote" Saturday night at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Decisively, this was "The Magic Flute." Opera Pacific had opted for Andrew Porter's sensible translation of the folksy-lofty comedy, and, just in case anyone missed a word, the English text was redundantly flashed, two rhyming lines at a time, on the super-title screen atop the proscenium. The translator's name, not incidentally, was omitted from the program credits: Ask not why.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
Culture Monster got the chance to chat with Australian opera director Barrie Kosky on Thursday, head of Berlin's experimental Komische Oper Berlin. He's in town for just three days, to meet with the Los Angeles Opera about the fall production of his interactive, wildly nontraditional version of Mozart's “The Magic Flute.” We met up with Kosky at the LA Opera's costume shop, which was crammed with racks and racks of colorful outfits from operas past - gypsy armor from “Il Trovatore” and a Spanish bullfighter's uniform from “Carmen,” among them.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
When the Komische Oper Berlin debuted its edgy and nontraditional reimagining of Mozart's “The Magic Flute,” combining live singing and hand-drawn animation, the 2012 run of 13 performances sold out in two days. The U.S. premiere of the production, Nov. 23 at Los Angeles Opera, similarly is seeing strong ticket sales. So the company has added an additional performance, Dec. 13 at 8:30 p.m., bringing the total number of performances to 7. “We knew 'The Magic Flute' would be popular with our audiences, but ticket sales have vastly exceeded our expectations," L.A. Opera's General Director Plácido Domingo said in a statement.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
In a bare rehearsal space downtown at the Music Center, a dozen or so people work through a scene in the dark. The only light comes from projected black-and-white animation flickering on the back wall of the stage - a nude fairy fluttering her wings atop a tree, a black cat leaping over a glowing full moon. Rodell Rosel, who plays the lovesick Monostatos in this Los Angeles Opera production of "The Magic Flute," gestures wildly from a vine-covered balcony; he is crooning his affection for Pamina (Janai Brugger)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 16, 1999 | RICHARD S. GINELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Last summer, Lucinda Carver and her Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra scored a solid musical hit on their end of a performance of Mozart's "The Abduction From the Seraglio" at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Building upon that experience, another Mozart opera, "The Magic Flute," was tried there Saturday night, again in a concert performance, again with often ecstatically pleasing results. With any luck, Mozart opera al fresco threatens to become a welcome tradition in Cahuenga Pass.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
When the Komische Oper Berlin debuted its edgy and nontraditional reimagining of Mozart's “The Magic Flute,” combining live singing and hand-drawn animation, the 2012 run of 13 performances sold out in two days. The U.S. premiere of the production, Nov. 23 at Los Angeles Opera, similarly is seeing strong ticket sales. So the company has added an additional performance, Dec. 13 at 8:30 p.m., bringing the total number of performances to 7. “We knew 'The Magic Flute' would be popular with our audiences, but ticket sales have vastly exceeded our expectations," L.A. Opera's General Director Plácido Domingo said in a statement.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
Culture Monster got the chance to chat with Australian opera director Barrie Kosky on Thursday, head of Berlin's experimental Komische Oper Berlin. He's in town for just three days, to meet with the Los Angeles Opera about the fall production of his interactive, wildly nontraditional version of Mozart's “The Magic Flute.” We met up with Kosky at the LA Opera's costume shop, which was crammed with racks and racks of colorful outfits from operas past - gypsy armor from “Il Trovatore” and a Spanish bullfighter's uniform from “Carmen,” among them.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
Having developed a momentary case of the 20-year itch for the beloved production of Mozart's “The Magic Flute” that it has been rolling out since 1993, Los Angeles Opera announced Tuesday that it's about to have a fling with a sexy new flame it met earlier this year in Berlin. Instead of a fifth helping of the 1993 production directed by Peter Hall and designed by noted British cartoon artist Gerald Scarfe - as had been anticipated when the company announced its 2013-14 season in January - L.A. Opera's general director, Placido Domingo, announced Tuesday it will offer the U.S. premiere of an unorthodox version of “The Magic Flute” that was launched early this year by Komische Oper Berlin and combines live opera with silent film that uses 21 st century digital animation to create a 1920s Buster Keaton-ish feel.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
After a trip to Amsterdam in the summer of 2008, Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed brought back a curious souvenir: a three-disc Dutch edition of Kenneth Branagh's "The Magic Flute,” which he'd spotted in a remote record-store window. Upon returning home, he watched the 2006 film adaptation of Mozart's opera and was so moved that he wrote: “I am at a loss to understand why this film has been marginalized. 'Flute' is a joy.” The Branagh film, updating the opera from 1791 to World War I, premiered at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals and had limited overseas runs; but it has never showed in the U.S. -- until now. PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage On June 9, the Branagh-directed “Flute” is scheduled to screen at about 150 Emerging Pictures theaters across the country.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2012 | By Joshua Dyer
There once was a girl who was bored out of her wits. It had been a wonderful holiday season, and she had received many fantastic gifts. However, she now sat in her Grandmother's kitchen watching the rain patter on her front lawn with nothing to do. "Nanna," she asked, "is there anything at all in your house that's fun?" Her wizened old Grandmother giggled under her breath and stood up from the kitchen table. "Follow me, sweet pea," she said in an inviting tone. She led the girl up a narrow set of stairs and into an old attic.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2009 | Richard S. Ginell
Kenneth Branagh's 2006 film of "The Magic Flute" whisks the setting away from Mozart's never-never land into the trenches of World War I. You won't see any of that at Los Angeles Opera this month (thank goodness, some irascible Mozarteans will say), for Gerald Scarfe's fanciful, cartoonish yet faithful-to-the-spirit designs still hold sway in this production's fourth time around at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. But you can catch two of the participants from the film here: its conductor, James Conlon, and its Prince Tamino, the fast-rising Canadian tenor Joseph Kaiser.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2001 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
San Diego Opera has the motto "We Make Music Worth Seeing," and the audience for its new production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," which opened the season Saturday night, took the company at its word. One good look at the delightfully dressed minor stage figures--a flashy and adorable rhinoceros or a couple of metallic, glittering temple guards balanced on enormous platform shoes--in the revealing light of the curtain calls, and the applause was as vigorous as it was for those who sang.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 1993
Chapman University opera students will perform selected scenes from Mozart's 18th-Century opera "The Magic Flute" tonight. The production includes three major portions of the opera, each featuring a different cast of Chapman students. The three scenes will be linked by narration of the opera's libretto. All of the students performing tonight are enrolled in Chapman's opera workshop class. The performance will take place at 8 p.m. in Chapman Auditorium, 333 N. Glassell St.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2009 | Chris Pasles
A first-class cast of principals making their Los Angeles Opera debut transformed the company's revival of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday into a welcome delight. This was the 1993 Peter Hall co-production with satirical cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, with colorful Egyptian-style sets and costumes rich in symbolism. It is marred, though, by its dressing the high priest Sarastro and his retinue as golden-gowned look-alikes topped with "Planet of the Apes" haircuts and the hero, Tamino, like a redheaded, red-gloved and red-booted waiter in a Russian-themed restaurant.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2009 | Karen Wada
At 38, Nathan Gunn has established himself as a sought-after baritone, an intelligent actor with a luscious voice. Part of a generation of singers determined to banish the "park and bark" style of operatic performance, he likes to push the edges of storytelling, especially by exploring new works. Thanks to a well-chiseled body and rugged good looks, Gunn is something else as well: a favorite on the pop-culture circuit. Last year, People magazine named him one of its "Sexiest Men Alive," and Stephen Colbert dubbed him a "super-sexy opera star."
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