Julie Taymor's The Magic Flute Opens at Met Opera, Oct. 8

News   Julie Taymor's The Magic Flute Opens at Met Opera, Oct. 8
Julie Taymor's much-anticipated production of Mozart's The Magic Flute premieres at the Metropolitan Opera tonight.
L Photo by Ken Howard

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 Rouschman 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 Vargicova appears for the first time with the company as the Queen of the Night. Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine conducts.

Taymor previously directed The Magic Flute at Florence's Maggio Musicale, and staged Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex at the Saito Finen Festival, Wagner's Der Fliegende Hollander 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 Darien: A Funeral Mass. She is also the director of the films Titus, Fool's Fire, and Frida.

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Kwangchul Youn (center) as Sarastro in <i>The Magic Flute</i>
Kwangchul Youn (center) as Sarastro in The Magic Flute Photo by Ken Howard
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