Backstage at LA Opera’s “Magic Flute”- 5 Fun Facts
Mozart & Movie *Magic*
Behind-the-scenes at LA Opera’s “Magic Flute“
Leticia Marie Sanchez
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Created by the British theater group 1927 (in collaboration with Barrie Kosky), the production combines animated film and live performers. CCH interviewed 1927′s director Suzanne Andrade and animator Paul Barritt.
Left: 1927 director Suzanne Andrade
5 Fun Facts About LA Opera’s Magic Flute
Theater Group 1927 derived their name from the year that the film “Jazz Singer” was released. Although this was the first “talkie” film (ie a film with sound) 1927 derives much of its inspiration from the silent film era.
2. No Theater Lights
No Theater Lights will be used in this production.Any reflection on the singers emanates from the animated films themselves.
3. Weimar Cabaret and German Expressionism
What was the Weimar Cabaret? Think German Gatsby-esque flappers.
Q: CCH:“Did the era of the Weimar Cabaret and German Expressionist film influence 1927’s vision of the Magic Flute?”
A: Suzanne Andrade: “This time period did impact our style. For instance, the melodramatic forms used in German Expressionist film influenced the shapes of the bodies of our animated Magic Flute characters.”
4. Masonic Symbols
Much has been made of the esoteric Masonic Symbols in Mozart’s opera (For instance, the number 3 is a Masonic number: In the Magic Flute, there are 3 ladies, 3 boys, the 3 flats of E Flat Major).
Q: CCH: ”Did you intentionally incorporate any Masonic symbols into your animation?”
A: Suzanne Andrade: “While sitting in a pub Barritt and I debated adding Masonic leitmotifs. But we decided for the most part against it. However, Sarastro’s “all-seeing eye” (a Masonic symbol) will appear on screen. “
5. Monostatos has a dog
I tested out this whimsical animation on the LA Opera Stage. Imagine the blocking for the cast, who are not only singing intense arias (like the Queen of the Night with her ferocious F6s) but interacting with fantastical creatures at the same time!