Muscat: The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) has created an original production of an opera by one of the greatest composers in the history of music, as a special gesture to mark the inaugural year of ROHM’s House of Musical Arts.
Chosen for this special honour is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), a triumphal, spiritually oriented work that Mozart completed shortly before his death in 1791. With this new production, the Royal Opera House Muscat achieves a ground-breaking milestone in its evolving history as a world-class opera house producing its own works.
Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte is a captivating opera that features some of his most beautiful and expressive music. As the opera’s allegoric tale unfolds, Prince Tamino is sent by the treacherous Queen of the Night to free her daughter, Pamina from Sarastro, the high priest of the temple. Accompanying Tamino is Papageno, a colourful bird catcher whose comical cowardice contrasts with Tamino’s nobility and courage. Tamino is given a magic flute and Papageno receives a set of bells as instruments that will help them succeed in their mission to find and free Pamina. The path that Tamino must take, although darkened with daunting trials, is also shining with symbols that lead him toward love and light in the shelter of Sarastro’s benevolent wisdom.
ROHM’s new interpretation of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, an opera that has reached almost immortal status over the past two-and-a-quarter centuries, is set within the country’s magnificent landscapes. The traditions and cultural heritage of Oman and the Arab World are linked with universal themes in The Magic Flute where enlightened ideals are transcendent in a struggle against ignorance and evil.
Davide Livermore, stage director and architect of the innovative sets for ROHM’s beautiful, breathtaking 2019 production of Léo Delibes’ opera, Lakmé, set out to create another masterpiece. In conceiving the sets, Davide has worked with Geo Cucco for special visual efffects and set designer Lorenzo Russo Rainaldi. The costumes were designed by the celebrated designer Marianna Fracasso, and the lighting by Antonio Castro. The amazing video design was implemented by D-Wok. The opera will be performed by the melodically expressive “I Barocchisti” Orchestra, led by award-winning Swiss conductor, Diego Fasolis.
ROHM’s casting includes young Omani singer, actors and extras and brings Mozart’s unforgettable characters to life with superb singing and dramatic expression. The renowned coloratura soprano, Aigul Khismatullina is the dark Queen of the Night; belcanto tenor Alasdair Kent leads with a voice like sunshine in the role of the hero, Tamino, while the brilliant baritone, Markus Werba sings Papageno the delightfully foolish bird-catcher. The profoundly serious theme of the opera is countered with witty and comical, light-hearted moments, such as when Papageno meets his counterpart, Papagena, after she has been magically transformed into a beautiful young woman and they sing a resonant call-and-response duet, comically popping their notes like birds in a ritual dance.
Die Zauberflöte, ROHM’s wonderful new production, is proudly presented on three occasions at the House of Musical Arts: Thursday the 2nd, Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th of January 2020 at 7:00 pm.