Who couldn’t use a little magic in their lives, given all the doom and gloom out there? It turns out LA Opera programmed “The Magic Flute” at just the right time, offering a chance to start the otherwise slightly foreboding new year with a fanciful story and the exquisite music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The visually arresting show is actually a revival of Peter Hall’s 1993 production, with sets and costumes by Gerald Scarfe. You may have seen Scarfe’s cartoons in The New Yorker, and he designed the animation in “Pink Floyd: The Wall,” so expect some characters to look more like mythical creatures than people. Of course, that just adds to the captivating tale of Prince Tamino (Matthew Polenzani, Joseph Kaiser) who attempts to rescue Pamina (Marie Arnet, Erin Wall), daughter of the Queen of the Night (L’Ubica Vargicova, Albina Shagimuratova), from Sarastro (Gunther Groissbock, Morris Robinson). The revival is made fresh with the LA Opera debuts of each of those singers and several others.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how entertainment fared well during the Great Depression because people needed an escape. LA Opera’s “The Magic Flute” could be just the ticket in these woeful economic times (prices start at $20).