Canadian playwright and director KICO GONZALEZ-RISSO
was commissioned by Western Washington University's College of Fine and
Performing Arts to put together and direct a new translation of Mozart's
famous opera. The goal was a new production to commemorate the Mozart Bicentennial;
the result was a sell-out hit which received wide acclaim from audiences
and media in Bellingham, Vancouver and Seattle. (Hear
Papageno. 662 kb. wav file)
"This MAGIC FLUTE captures the mystic, fairytale timelessness of the struggle between good and evil in a brilliant new translation faithful to the rhythmic nuances of the original German, yet garbed in new wonder." (Richmond Review)
"Western's MAGIC FLUTE is a first-rate success.... Much to the surprise of cynics, the school has made its MAGIC FLUTE a glittering and occasionally explosive production of first-rate musical merit." (Seattle Times)
"THE MAGIC FLUTE enchanted a capacity crowd at WWU's Performing Arts
Center. There's been much fuss about director Kico Gonzalez-Risso's new
translation....it is quite contemporary in tone and easy to follow."
"This new translation is very, very successful. It is witty and delightful. It's absolutely excellent." (Bruce Pullan, Musical Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir)
"In other English language productions of the piece, translators
have tried to retain the feeling of the era by sprinkling the text with
archaic words and phrases, a kind of pseudo-Shakespeare. That kind of stuffiness
never shows up in (KG-R's) version." (Bellingham Herald)
What makes this translation special? How does it compare to others? Quite simply, it is the closest that English has come to matching Schikaneder's original German libretto. You'll find that:
First, the KG-R version retains the spirit and humour of Schikaneder:
Hear excerpt. (1 meg. wav
|The prince can go to hell and stay there!
My life is number one
I swear to God he'll sneak away there,
Like a thief on the run.
(Papageno, Act 1)
|Dass doch der Prinz beim Teufel ware!
Mein Leben ist mir lieb
Am Ende schleicht, bei meiner Ehre,
Er von wie ein Dieb.
|The poor can speak of how they suffer,
But not this man - he cannot talk.
There's nothing I can do or offer;
I'm powerless against your lock
(Tamino, Act 1)
|Der Arme kann von Strafe sagen
Denn seine Sprache ist dahin
Ich kann nichts tun, als dich beklagen
Weil ich zu schwach zu helfen bin
|Heed, all who wander through this highway full of danger
Earth, fire, air, water purify the stranger
When he has banished fear of death far from his sight
He will reach from the earth to Heaven's light
He'll find that highest wisdom shall be gained
For him the mysteries of Isis are ordained.
(The Armed Men, Act 2)
|Der, welcher wander, dies Strasse voll Beschwerden
Wird rein durch Feuer, Wasser Luft und Erden
Wenn er des Todes Schrecken uberwinden kann
Schwingt er sich aus der Erde himmelan
Erleuchtet wird er dann instande sein,
Sich den Mysterien der Isis ganz zu weihn.
The KG-R libretto also includes dialogue that was edited in the original production. Besides speeding up the action, many opera-goers found these cuts actually made the plotline far easier to follow. To read an excerpt click
For enquiries about THE MAGIC FLUTE
and DON PASQUALE, call (604)
876-0302 or e-mail email@example.com