If I told you that the Opera could be like if Tim Burton and Lumenocity had a love child, and then it was raised by some unholy ghost of Mozart, would you believe me? Well, it can be just like that. And in “The Magic Flute,” it is.
Opening on July 15th, 2017 at the Aronoff, TMF is the darkest, funniest, trippiest visual and vocal experience I’ve ever attended. Framed by unbelievably timed visuals splayed out on an enormous white backdrop, the orchestra and performers of the opera tell a dark comedy of love, loss, and adolescent moth-boys.
The general narrative of the story revolves around two men saving a young woman from an evil dictator. The young lady’s mother happens to be a gigantic singing spider with murderous intent. She enlists a young prince and a hapless sidekick to rescue her. Hijinks ensue.
Despite the fact that I was two days into a no-coffee-at-all kick, I was kept awake by the pure energetic chaos that unfolded in front of us for 2.5 hours. It’s beautiful, it’s edgy, and it’s perfectly done. As much as I despise this sentiment, I kept thinking “Wow, Cincinnati really does have world class, amazing art.” The Cincinnati Opera is such a killer in the arts space. This performance could easily be at the New York Metropolitan Opera. It perfectly combines opera and accessibility for people who don’t know jack about opera.
There was a young boy in the audience who, during the funny parts, just laughed his ass off. This set the rest of us also laughing our collective asses off, and it completed the cycle of what makes good art: shared human experience. We laughed together, and when it got truly dark, and little man stopped laughing, we were freaked out together.
I’m telling you straight up: this is nothing like your idea of opera. If anything, it’s a show from Adult Swim with world-class vocalists singing about love and suicide and murder. Everything great in the world. Go catch a show, and if for some reason you don’t like it, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and explain to you all the ways that you are completely wrong.
John David Back is a Cincinnati native who lives and works in OTR. He’s an avid reader and a mediocre writer who loves the experience of art and beauty. Tell him what he should experience and send fan mail to email@example.com.