Des Königs Zauberflöte

 

Des Königs Zauberflöteopera produced as a motion picture film of live theater performances. Based on Die Zauberflöte opera with music by Mozart and a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, with additional dialogue by Klaus Jörg Schönmetzler. Directed by Enoch zu Guttenberg at the Prinzregententheater München in 2013. This is your captain speaking: Fasten your seatbelts---severe turbulence ahead!

(Most of the opera singers named in this paragraph play a double role, as is explained below.) Stars Gerd Anthoff (The Real Papageno), Tareq Nazmi (Sarastro/König Ludwig II), Jörg Dürmüller (Tamino/Kaiser Franz Joseph I), Antje Bitterlich (Konigin der Nacht/Ezherzogin Sophie von Österreich), Susanne Bernhard (Pamina/Kaiserin Elisabeth), Jochen Kupfer (Papageno/Max Emanuel Herzog in Bayern), Gudrun Sidonie Otto (Papagena/Lilla von Bulyovsky), Martin Petzold (Monostatos/Fürst Bismarck), Marc-Olivier Oetterli (Sprecher/Alfred Karl Graf Eckbrecht von Dürckheim Montmartin), Michael Mantaj (First Priester/Maximilian Graf von Holnstein), Bernhard Hirtreitter (Second Priester/Dr. Bernhard von Gudden), Miriam Meyer (First Dame | Marie Luise Gräfin Larisch-Wallersee), Olivia Vermeulen (Second Dame/Helene Erbprinzessin von Thurn und Taxis), Hilke Andersen (Third Dame/Esperanza Freifrau Truchsess von Wetzhausen), Matthias Aeberhard (First Geharnischter Mann/Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand), Marcell Bakonyi (Second Geharnischter Mann/Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen), as well as Nicolas Brunhammer, Elias Mädler, and Valentin Kuchler (Drei Knaben/Pagen der Königlich Bayerischen Pagerie). Nicolas, Elias, and Volentin are soloists from the Tölzer Knabenchor.

Enoch zu Guttenberg conducts the Orchester KlangVerwaltung and the Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuem. Scene designs by Volker Thiele; dramaturgy by Klaus Jörg Schönmetzler; motion picture film direction by Ruth Käch. The motion picture version was released in Blu-ray form in 2017 with music recorded with 96kHz/24-bit sound sampling. Disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos sound. The Blu-ray is played at 60 frames per second rather than the normal 24 fps.

(Keep your seatbelts on!) Next I'll say a bit more about the various artists who bring this work to us. Then I'll  briefly discuss the 3 layers of artistic creation that are mashed up in this unique title.

1. Farao is a small independent recording company that mostly makes classical CDs. This is the first Farao Blu-ray title. The singers credited above seem to be mostly (if not all) fully-qualified opera singers on their way up---Jochen Kupfer is the only singer who has previously appeared in a Blu-ray opera (as Sixtus Beckmesser). The Orchester KlangVerwaltung (in English this translates as "Sound Administration Orchestra" or maybe better as the "Sound World Orchestra) is an independent band of expert classical musicians, similar perhaps to a festival orchestra, who self-conduct or collaborate with conductors in deciding how to perform their programs. They often work with Enoch zu Guttenberg. Since Enoch doesn't have full responsibility for orchestra performances, he seems to have extra energy to serve as opera stage director and producer. Ruth Käch has one previous video credit on this website.

2. There are 3 sources mashed together in this opera:

  • All the familiar characters from the standard Mozart Zauberflöte libretto are present.

  • In the late 19th century, German aristocrats enjoyed playing roles in German operas (and theater plays) in amateur productions aimed at showing how well-educated they were. This movie portrays a purely fictional effort by the "mad" King Ludwig II of Bravaia and other historical Germen luminaries to put on Die Zauberflöte. That is why Jörg Dürmüller plays the duel roles of Tamino and Kaiser Franz Joseph I. The"King"refered to in the title of Des Königs Zauberflöte is Ludwig II. (Ludwig was the one who built that phony fairly-tale castle in Bavaria that all the tourists think is real. He also got Wagner out of hock and paid for Wagner's theater at Bayreuth.)

  • To make things more zany, director Enoch zu Guttenberg added a "real" Papageno character who sits in the audience. This real Papageno arises from his seat and enters the play to make corrections using text written by Klaus Jörg Schönmetzler.

This mash-up was first presented live on stage in 2010 and again in 2013 in Germany. Video made at the 2013 performances was made into the Des Königs Zauberflöte movie, which was shown in theaters in 2016; the Blu-ray was released in 2017. Grade: NA

(Unfasten seatbelts!) This show will doubtless be challenging to watch if you are not already well familiar with the text as Mozart knew it. Fortunately, we have written for your enjoyment a complete outline of the original Zauberflöte libretto. Some people complain that Die Zauberflöte is hard to follow and understand. That's because they have never read the entire libretto or our outline of it. The original libretto is completely logical and self-contained (by fairy story standards of logic).

 Good luck with Des Königs Zauberflöte! Here's something from YouTube to get you started: