A confession: I have a real love/ hate relationship with Mozart’s Die Zauberflote. I have always found its music to be an unfortunate mix of the sublime and the cloyingly cutesy. I abhor the trend toward Disneyfied productions of this opera, usually to establish it as “family-friendly” (another term I abhor.) So I must admit I was a bit dismayed when I opened La Cieca’s package to me and found this DVD of a 2014 production at the Dutch National Opera.
Happily, I find this production to be the best Zauberflote of my experience, because it takes the trials of Tamino and Pamina very seriously, making their quest to find love a genuinely human experience and a very human effort to determine the nature of good and evil.