Posted February 09, 2017
Posted February 9, 2017
Interpretation begins with recognizing its key parts. First we must have an understanding of the original material. This is a great challenge: we must attempt to ascertain the intent of the composer and the librettist, taking into account the time and place of the original composition, and its setting. We study the story, listen to the music, feel the emotions, and experience the work’s progression, making every possible intellectual and emotional effort to understand it fully. It is not enough to know the plot, since after all, The Magic Flute is no more than a simple fairy story of wicked queens and princesses than Jack and The Beanstalk is a tale told only to explain giants, or boys, or geese, or even agriculture. So, we wonder, what ideas did Mozart and Schikaneder wish to communicate through their story? …..
Our next step in interpretation is to express Mozart’s and Schikaneder’s original ideas in our own words and images, based on a clear understanding of what we wish to communicate with our story telling….we must find a way to set the ideas of the composers into actions and images meaningful to the public that will hear and see our work. The ideas must coalesce into a production that expresses the plot and themes of The Magic Flute in terms of visual and physical actions that will allow the contemporary viewer to understand the same ideas and experience the same emotions as the audience at the Freihaus-Theater audience der Wieden in Vienna on the opening night of 30th of September, 1791.
As twenty-first-century interpreters, we have been inspired to create images and actions in a minimalistic and expressionistic way that would likely be obtuse to a late eighteenth-century audience, but is immediate, appropriate, and we hope exciting for a contemporary public.”
A documentary video on ceramic artist Jun Kaneko’s journey in creating and designing the set, costumes, and makeup for The Magic Flute: