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SALZBURG FESTIVAL BLOG

“Magic Flute” and all that...

6 AUG 2013

by Theresa Dittmar  15:09 h;
published in: Opera, General

Theresa Dittmar
“Apart from the premiere of Die Zauberflöte for Children, there are also some remaining performances of Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Children ­– and two master classes are also yet to come. We experienced one already. A few of us had the great honour of being taught by Christa Ludwig on two mornings. That is truly something special, experiencing such a luminary of classical singing. As a young singer, it gives you a feeling of reverence. However, next week will be no less glamorous when Thomas Hampson gives us a bit of his time. There is much anticipation in the air. And yet, right now we are concentrating fully on the Zauberflöte premiere – and we can only hope that it will be as beautiful as Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Thank heavens the three performances already behind us went without any major hitches or incidents. The best part, actually, came after the performance, when the children crowded around us and asked for photographs and autographs. Fascinated by our costumes and all that make-up, they circled us and inspected everything painstakingly. And that is how it should be. Children are always a bit unpredictable, and that is why they are often feared as an audience. You never really know what exactly a child will find really funny, or what might even scare it. Sitting between the children in the audience and observing their reactions is fascinating. Our Bassa Selim actually got a lot of sympathy, and the children probably did not quite understand why Konstanze doesn’t just stay with the beautiful oriental prince, when he is so sad that she does not love him. Osmin got a lot less sympathy: “I don’t like that fat guy, he’s stupid,” rang out loud and clear from the row behind me, and I can’t say I didn’t sympathise at that moment. When Peter Kellner sings his laughing, revenge-thirsty coloraturas and the two pairs of lovers are tied up by our amazing dancers, it is hard to remember that our Peter is actually a very peace-loving guy. But that is what theatre is about. After the performance, the children were able to convince themselves that Osmin is a very nice man in real life.
Meanwhile, one of our tenors is preparing for a very interesting experience. Johannes Dunz will perform today in Giovanna d’Arco together with Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo and Francesco Meli. We are all very proud of our Johannes. We were able to listen to a bit of the rehearsals, and I think Johannes broke a sweat here and there, sharing the stage with these great singers. However, that was quite unnecessary, because he mastered everything with great aplomb, and will surely be a great success today. At this point, we wish him: BREAK A LEG!” 

Theresa Dittmar

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