Red Note Ensemble debut at Bath International Festival.
Red Note Ensemble, Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, debut at this year’s Bath International Festival in the highly acclaimed production of Mozart’s joyously extrovert opera The Magic Flute.
Directed by Richard Williams, Mozart’s iconic music is a new adaptation for chamber ensemble and Festival Artistic Director Joanna MacGregor’s farewell performance. In the immediate vibrancy of Bath premiere venue Komedia, The Magic Flute recaptures the excitement and popularity of Mozart’s first performance in Vienna’s small Freihaus Theatre in 1791.
Set in a mythical, modern city and in a super-skyscraper, Red Note Ensemble perform with a cast of young international opera singers. The once famous but now reclusive star, The Queen of the Night, has taken refuge. Tamino, the young reporter is out to get a scoop; has Pamina been kidnapped by her father, the multi-media mogul Sarastro, and why are there trials of fire and water for Tamino and Pamina?
Originally arranged for an orchestra hidden in the pit, this chamber arrangement brings the virtuosity of Red Note’s nine brilliant players, right to the front of the stage. Apart from woodwind and strings, you’ll hear Mozart’s gorgeous music played by a sensational accordionist, capturing Wolfgang’s superb populist spirit, and Joanna MacGregor directs from a magic keyboard too!
John Harris, Director of Red Note, says, “This is going to be a lot of fun for us at Red Note. We love Joanna MacGregor, we love her virtuosity, we love the way she thinks about music and makes new things happen, and we’re incredibly excited to see how she and her team re-make Mozart’s wonderful opera for the 21st Century”
The setting moves from the dark lair of Queen of the Night, to Sarastro’s contemporary penthouse hideaway. The set spills out from the stage to the auditorium, as does the action in places, and a silver tree in the audience provides the clues to Tamino and Pamina’s last trial.
This is Mozart at its very best – sparkling, witty, and faithful to the original. Performed in English, this fast-moving, modern dress production has been acclaimed for its clarity, wit and touching sensibility. Highly recommended for all ages, this is true family entertainment with a faultless pedigree, and a delight for both newcomers and opera fans.
Red Note Ensemble, Hear us first.