Monday, June 6, 2016

The Magic Flute

Saturday night was the last night of NZ Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, some opera or other by a chap called Mo Zart. We went along cos that’s just the kind of people we are.

Dinner was at the estimable Zibibbo, which I still call the most under-rated restaurant in Wellington, even though they keep winning awards and stuff. They’ve taken to serving some of their food on boards instead of plates, which is very hipster-ish of them. I would rail against hipsters, but apparently that’s pelvist.

Food on a board
It being Queen’s birthday weekend (the renowned monarch, not the renowned rock group), they were making a celebratory cocktail, Gin Save The Queen, which I felt duty bound to sample. As well as gin, it contained various herbs and was mixed (by yourself, it’s one of those DIY jobs) with cucumber sorbet in a separate glass, to the required sweetness/sourness. I can’t be doing with that, so I just chucked the whole lot in. It was fine.

We were running a bit short of time as we hotfooted it along Taranaki St to get to St James Theatre. We made it with a couple of minutes to spare. The lights went down, the orchestra started up, and we were away!

The Magic Flute is a bit mad. The story  revolves around the daughter of the Queen Of The Night, and her supposed rescue from Sarastro, an evil sorcerer. But he turns out to be not so evil as all that, and the whole thing seems to revolve around "he said, she said". Though the Queen of the Night does order her daughter to murder Sarastro or she'll never speak to her again, which isn't very nice. Also, Sarastro has some very medieval attitudes, which is perhaps unsurprising given that it was written in 1790. I'm not going to go into all the masonic symbolism, cos, well, you know all that.

The staging and performances were all very polished, and it was an English version too, which helped. A lot of the humour of the original was well translated, particularly Papageno's part. 

Is that enough culture for now? Hell, no! Wait until next week's thrilling instalment!

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