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Review: Canadian Opera Company’s “The Magic Flute” is a Magically Delightful Fairytale

By: Curtis Sindrey –

(L-R) Lauren Segal as Third Lady, Gordon Bintner as Papageno, Ilker Arcayürek as Tamino, Charlotte Siegel as Second Lady, and Jamie Groote as First Lady in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of The Magic Flute, 2022. Conductor Patrick Lange, original director Diane Paulus, revival director Anna Theodosakis, set and costume designer Myung Hee Cho, and lighting designer Scott Zielinski. (Photo: Michael Cooper)

It’s the classic love story. Boy sees a photo of a girl. Falls in love instantly. And immediately goes on a Lord of the Rings-worthy journey to rescue his true love.

Canadian Opera Company’s new production of the Mozart classic “The Magic Flute” is a very charming fairy tale that shows that true love sometimes does conquer all.

Anchored by a masterful performance by Ilker Arcayürek, who is pitch perfect as Tamino, and who is making his COC debut with this production, tries to find his way in the world, and feels lost and hopeless as he tries to find his true love. Arcayürek’s voice is very pleasant and strong. He has a very commanding stage presence, and with the beautiful costumes designed by Myung Hee Cho, he exudes a stately aura.

Enter Pamina as played by Anna-Sophie Neher, who is kidnapped, and is subsequently held captive. Pamina shows grace and strength throughout the story as she endures the trials and tribulations of her ordeal. Neher’s delivery is solid throughout with a very strong voice with a unique softness to it as well that fits her character perfectly.

One of the most fun characters of the show, the lovable Papageno (played by Gordon Bintner), masterfully makes the audience howl with laughter with every movement and every quip. Papageno just can’t catch a break with his love life. Already a notable bird catcher, he seeks a quiet life, and a chance to settle down with a wife. He joins Tamino on his journey and brings along his magic chimes that help the charming duo several times as they search for Pamina. Thankfully, Papageno also meets the love of his life with Papagena (played by COC Ensemble Studio member Midori Marsh) and the two live fulfilled lives together.

One cannot talk about the set design enough with this production. Myung Hee Cho did a fabulous job at bringing out the mesmerizing fairy tale look that “The Magic Flute” is beloved for. Whether it was the design of the stage in the first act, the masonic-influenced temple design, and everything in between, it was difficult to not have your eyes glued to the beautiful design of each scene. It drew you into the story, and the characters, and allowed you to jump in with both feet into its magical world and never want to leave.

Overall, the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of “The Magic Flute” is a must-see. With a strong core cast filled with some of opera’s most emerging talent, and with a wholly engaging set design that washes over you with its magic spell, “The Magic Flute” is well worth a trip to the opera.

“The Magic Flute” runs until May 21st, 2022, and tickets are available here.

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