Back to Arts

Haute Halloween: Tacoma Opera presents "The Magic Flute"

Hell's vengeance boils

A celebration of true love conquering all, "The Magic Flute" transports us into an enchanted world where good faces the forces of darkness. Photo credit: Peter Serko

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

Dressing to scare this All Hallows Eve? Of course you are. You're cool like that. So why not take your sexy, imaginative duds to a joint where they'll be appreciated? Damn right we're referring to ... the opera.

We'll give you a minute to let that sink in. Surely we meant to recommend some Nicki-Minaj-thumping meat market still slippery from its last foam party. Mais non, Gentle Reader. Just because we enjoy the occasional beer flight or, let's face it, bag of Chick-fil-A sandwiches, the fact is your friends at the Weekly Volcano have elevated tastes. We've been known to drink PBR with our pinkies out, so trust us when we say the Tacoma Opera is the place to see and be seen this Halloween.

As befits the Dia de Los Muertos, Mozart's justly-beloved opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) challenges its hero to face and overcome the fear of death itself. Of course, it also requires him to hang out with a dude dressed like Big Bird, but that's not important right now. What is important is Mozart's devotion to whimsy, magic, outlandish costuming, nightmarish themes, and the triumph of love over darkness, as they mesh perfectly with our second-scariest holiday (behind Columbus Day, of course). As if further enticement were needed, guests arriving in costume will automatically be entered in a contest, the prize for which, one assumes, will be an enchanted musical instrument - an Ocarina of Time, say, or a haunted glockenspiel. As Wolfgang Mozart intended!

The Magic Flute is set in an unnamed fantasyland, but this production benefits from local stylistic influences. Tacoma Opera drew inspiration from the art and culture of Pacific Northwest Salish tribes, with valuable assistance from the Puyallup tribe in particular. The event's web page notes the indigenous culture's "impish sense of humor and ... immense respect for nature, all of which blend perfectly with the transcendent music." It'll be interesting to note how these tribal elements are woven into set and costume designs, as The Magic Flute's expansive, episodic structure demands a unifying aesthetic perspective.

Setting all that fancy grad-school analysis aside, though, The Magic Flute is pure fun. You'll know its most popular aria, the coloratura "Der Hölle Rache" aka the Queen of the Night's Aria, the second you hear it. And when a baritone schleps on stage dressed like a giant parakeet, you'll feel infinitely better about showing up for a night of haute culture while dressed as a sexy Super Mario Brother.

THE MAGIC FLUTE, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, Rialto Theater, 310 Ninth St., Tacoma, $29-$72, 253.591.5894

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search