The following scenes from the Salzburger Festspiele recently evoked rave reviews among opera cognoscenti in attendance. Never in living memory had Mozart's beloved Die Zauberflöte been performed with such raw--even canine--passion! The leading men and ladies must have been influenced by Myrna & Gilbert's wedding.
In the role of the Queen of the Night, the lovely
Lucia del Litorale del Nord
sang the daunting, arpeggio-
rich aria, Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen*.
Her performance drew no
less than three standing
ovations from the enthralled
*The Vengeance of Hell Boils in myHeart
(click on the link above and you can hear Diana Damrau's
rendition of the aria, which was performed in 2006
<----maybe that's the one that BUSTERIGO was impressed
by...violent little aria that it is!)
Mind you, this music is difficult! After all, it's Mozart! But dolce Lucia performed it exquisitely. Please make note of the similarity of la Luna to those kitty claws Lucia has been ingesting...
It's hard to convey in mere words the breathtaking drama with which the entrance of the Queen of the Night is accompanied. Her presence is associated with all sorts of Masonic symbolism (a female Yang to Sarastro's Yin). Basically, she sort of descends out of the sky, even though her realm is admittedly in the other direction (F. Scott Fitzgerald noted that the sign of a first-rate intelligence was the ability to hold in one's mind two mutually-exclusive notions and retain the ability to function. Mozart had a first-rate intelligence.). Psssst ....let it be known that BUSTERIGO has first-rate intelligence too!
In the role of Papageno, the renowned baritone, BUSTERIGO (Il Cervello dell'Uccello -- which BUSTERIGO chooses to translate as "Possessing a Bird Über-Soul" rather than Bird-Brained) Vespucci made his Salzburg debut.
Here's an artist's rendering of one of the original sets for the entrance of the Queen of the Night. A bit understated, don't you think?
Never in the history of Austrian opera had Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja* been sung with such exquisite sensitivity for its bird-besotted subject!
Make note of his most avian strut...and how he stands so hawk-like--he did learn this from his conformation experience -- lots of preening there.
BUSTERIGO was able to skilfully bring the audience "up close and personal" so that they could discern some of the "buff, buff, buff buff buffs" that he used to fill in the blanks where the consonant-laden German came to a pause. After all, he's just becoming semi-fluent in Italian! The audience was transfixed -- WHAT A PERFORMANCE!
* Click the above link to hear Detlef Roth as Papageno singing this aria.
And the score is...........