Monday, November 17, 2014

[Festival/Press Article] Daegu International Opera Festival 2014─Magic Flute

The review of Magic Flute
The 12th Annual Daegu Opera Festival is over. The month-long festival dedicated to bringing a bit of culture to the adults and children of Daegu is one of the biggest and most-anticipated festivals in the city. Every fall, operas in various languages and from all over the world are brought to Daegu, and a different opera is performed each weekend at the main venue with smaller events taking place at several other locations throughout the city. This year’s festival included The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, Magic Flute, Turandot, and La Traviata.

Find more information about Daegu International Opera Festival 2014

The review of the opera, La Traviata:

The front gate of Daegu Opera House

An art wall of DIOF 2014
The major performances of the festival took place at the Daegu Opera House, which had a beautiful four-story theater with an orchestra pit. Screens were set up on either side of the stage, as well as above it, which displayed English and Korean translations of the foreign-language operas. Outside the building and inside the lobby, there were several photo backgrounds set up as well as some interactive booths where those who attended the festival, especially children, could have a more hands-on interaction with opera. In one of these, you could even try on period costumes and truly immerse yourself in the experience.

Program guides of Magic Flute

The hall of Daegu Opera House
Magic Flute is an opera by Mozart. It is about a prince named Tamino who falls in love with a princess, named Pamina, after seeing her picture. Paminahas been taken by Sarastro, and the Queen says that Tamino can marry her if he can only find her and bring her back. Tamino decides to take the Queen up on her offer and sets out on his journey with a new found friend, Papageno. Before they go, the Queen gives Papageno a set of bells, and she gives Tamino a magic flute, both are to protect them against their foes. As the story unfolds, the Queen’s motives are questioned, and she becomes the opera’s villain. It turns out Sarastro stole Paminain order to ensure that she would meet her true love as foretold in a prophecy. Tamino finds Pamina, but in order for them to be together, Sarastro makes Tamino submit to several trials to prove his love and honor.

The performances of all the talented actors and singers were wonderful. Papageno, the comic relief of the story, stole the show and won the heart of the Koreans in the audience by ad-libbing several Korean words in his performance! By the end of the opera, even this silly man, dressed completely in a rainbow stripes, finds his equally silly true love in Papagena.

A opera costume exhibition booth

The front yard of Daegu Opera House
The costumes in the show were very whimsical. While some almost seemed as though they could be worn in our own world today, like trench coats and leather jackets, others were from another time and place entirely. The Queen’s large black and purple dress had an ovular hoop under it, making the Queen seem almost larger than life. And her white hair towered above her head in a very unique style. 

Curtain call scene

Curtain call scene 2
The stage was very minimalist, featuring moving set pieces in basic colors and geometric shapes. Two set pieces that never left the stage and were used throughout the performance were a glowing, blue sphere and a red cube. The main stage element was a moveable wall that became the major indicator of location throughout the opera. Either side of the wall had a half circle cup out of the end, so that when the walls were pushed together, they formed a circle together at the center of the stage. This served as an interesting way to block off parts of the stage and focus audience attention on a particular place.

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