A Live Opera Essay

969 words - 4 pages

Speaking of watching a live opera, I had two extremely different experiences. Before taking this course, I have never watched a live opera in person. When I went to New York City during the spring break, I watched Prince Igor in the Metropolitan Opera House. And at the end of March, I watched The Magic Flute produced by the Music School of UM in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. It is apparent that the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre is not as magnificent as the Metropolitan Opera House in regard to construction. However, when it comes to listening experience, surprisingly, the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre outstands the Metropolitan Opera. Because opera singers and the orchestra don’t use microphone ...view middle of the document...

One distinctive thing about the Michigan production is that the director adapts the original story fitting it into a modern setting. It is unique that there comes out a little girl acting from the prelude part. The little girl’s parents are fighting with each other and get back together at the end of the story. They turn into Sarastro and Queen of the Night in the little girl’s imagination. Therefore, it forms a double-layer story. It reminds me of some contemporary movies, such as Alice in Wonder Land, which fuses imagination and reality.
It makes sense why many of the characters are wearing modern clothing. Though I like the idea of playing with the subconscious mind, the costumes of Michigan production are not that appealing to me as the Met production. For example, that Papageno is wearing a T-shirt and pants is too close to real life to see it as a show on stage. With regard to costumes, the Met opera does better. With more budgets to spend, the Met opera really create a wonderland with elaborate dresses and fancy animal models.
Regardless of costumes and the scale of the stage, the staging of Michigan production is more appealing to me than the Met production. Due to the condition of the stage, the staging of the Michigan production seems busier, but they manage the time well. There are several repeating motifs such as the three boys, the little girl’s bedroom, and Sarastro’s “office”. The three boys are hanging in the air in the Met version while they were sitting on a large moving book in the Michigan production. The crew has to move the “book” from one side to the other again and again. Another thing to mention is that there is a big round hanging in...

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