Kenneth Branagh Casts Magic Flute Film

Classic Arts News   Kenneth Branagh Casts Magic Flute Film
Director Kenneth Branagh has chosen the leads for his upcoming film of Mozart's Die Zauberfl‹te (The Magic Flute), Reuters reports.

The most prominent member of the cast is bass Ren_ Pape, who will play Sarastro. Soprano Lyubov Petrova will play the Queen of the Night. Tenor Joseph Kaiser, a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's training program, will play Tamino; Ben Davis, a baritone with several Broadway credits, with play Papageno. Amy Carson, a relatively unknown soprano, will play Pamina.

Both Davis and Kaiser appeared in film director Baz Luhrmann's Broadway version of Puccini's La bohme.

Music for the opera is slated to be recorded this fall; shooting will begin in January. The screenplay is by Branagh and writer and actor Stephen Fry, adapted from Emanuel Schikaneder's German-language libretto.

The film's budget is about $20 million, according to Reuters.

Die Zauberfl‹te is technically a singspiel, with spoken dialogue between the songs rather than sung "recitative," and it is frequently performed in English. It has been filmed for television several times, and in 1975, director Ingmar Bergman made a Swedish version starring baritone Hê‰kan Hagegê‰rd.

Branagh has directed and starred in film versions of Shakespeare's Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, and Hamlet.

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