Julie Taymor's Zauberfl‹te Premieres at Metropolitan Opera

Classic Arts News   Julie Taymor's Zauberfl‹te Premieres at Metropolitan Opera
 
Julie Taymor's much-anticipated production of Mozart's Die Zauberfl‹te (The Magic Flute) debuts at the Metropolitan Opera tonight.

Taymor, the Tony Award-winning director of Disney's The Lion King on Broadway, is making her Met debut as director, as costume designer, and as co-puppet designer. Her staging makes use of masks, puppets, kites, stilts, and (literally) kaleidoscopic sets by set designer George Tsypin.

Michael Curry, who collaborated with Taymor on The Lion King, gets his first Met credit as co-puppet designer. Lighting designer Donald Holder, who won a Tony for The Lion King, also makes his Met debut, as does choreographer Mark Dendy.

The production will replace a David Hockney production that has been in the Met repertoire since 1991, and that was last seen at the opera house four years ago.

The opening-night cast includes Dorothea R‹schman as Pamina, Matthew Polenzani as Tamino, Rodion Pogossov as Papageno, and Julien Robbins as the Speaker. Kwangchul Youn makes his Met debut as Sarastro, and L'ubica Vargicovš appears for the first time with the company as the Queen of the Night. Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine conducts.

Taymor previously directed Die Zauberfl‹te at Florence's Maggio Musicale, and has staged Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex at the Saito Kinen Festival, Wagner's Der Fliegende Holl‹nder at L.A. Opera, and Strauss's Salome at the Kirov Opera. In 2006, she and composer Eliot Goldenthal will premiere their new opera Grendel at L.A. Opera. On Broadway, her credits include The Green Bird and Juan Dari_n: A Funeral Mass. She is also the director of the films Titus, Fool's Fire, and Frida.

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