Monday, September 15, 2008

The Magic Flute at Bass Hall

The kids and I went to the Bass Performance Hall to watch what was supposedly a children's program -- Mozart's The Magic Flute from The Metropolitan Opera. I'm not sure where the mix up happened, but The Magic Flute was most definitely not meant for children. I was quite shocked by what I saw, particularly since I'd spoken to the Education Director at the Bass who assured me that The Magic Flute was more appropriate for children my age. (I called because I was torn between that production and La Bohème.) She said The Magic Flute would be better because of the story, funny Papageno, and whole team of gorgeous puppets. Let me just say that puppets do not a children's program make, and I take total responsibility for not doing more research in advance.

The Magic Flute was interesting at the least. I'm personally not a fan of opera in English. It feels lazy to me. I much prefer opera in Italian or French. By being in English, the children could to some degree understand the story being told, though overall, the subject matter of the story was far too mature for the kids.

There was the basic story of good and evil, a fair princess, a handsome prince, a funny sidekick, and a dangerous journey to a valiant rescue. All of that was great. However, there was an odd underlying religious theme thoughout that was really disturbing and three dead little boys that showed up from time to time. Moreover, there were several sexual situations that, while not too revealing, were quite graphic and not really appropriate for little eyes.

As an adult attending a production, The Magic Flute could have been a somewhat enjoyable way to spend an evening, if one was willing to overlook some things. As a homeschooling mom with little charges in tow, it was a big mistake. I should have played bunko instead.

A lovely patio meets wonderfully cool fall weather.

The obligatory pose


  • Randi

    I think you've learned a valuable lesson ... never skip Bunko.

  • Elizabeth

    Wow, I'm sorry you had such a rotten experience. Unfortunately, directors feel they must make things more graphic now to be interesting. So sad. I doubt Mozart meant for us to see it all so openly. I'm curious what your kids thought.

  • Amanda

    My kids were too young to truly understand the sexual insinuations, but had they been a bit older or a bit more learned it that department, it would have been more than I wanted for them. Perhaps it was just the interpretation of the written opera. I know that generally all operas are filled with drama and lust, it's just that this particular one was portrayed as appropriate for a 6YO, and some of the acting was a bit too much.

    Overall, they enjoyed the opera and responded well when I mentioned taking them to a live performance. Surprisingly, my hyper little boy sat the still and enjoyed it the most. The opera will be something we'll do again.

  • Happy Mommy

    i love taking the kids on field trips! So sad when we think all is well and wham, something crazy like 3 dead kids come out of no where. Sorry!

    We are going to an apple orchard next week.

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