A marionette version of Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’

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A marionette version of Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’

The marionette theater, where puppets are controlled by strings and wires from above, was at the height of its popularity in Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries, with emperors, kings, aristocrats and children alike flocking to the shows. Classical masters such as Mozart and Haydn even composed operas for the marionette theater.
Starting next Thursday, Austria’s Marionettentheater Schloss Schonbrunn (Marionette Theater at Schonbrunn Palace) will present Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” at the Hoam Art Hall in central Seoul until July 27.
Through the hidden cast of puppeteers, the puppet characters will come to life in one of the most beloved of Mozart’s operas.
“The Magic Flute” tells the story of Tamino, who is on a quest to rescue Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. He is given a magic flute to protect him from danger, and on his quest, he realizes that the priest Sarastro, who has abducted Pamina, is in fact a wise and enlightened figure.
Tamino and Pamina undergo a series of trials such as fire and water, and light over darkness, in order to enter the Temple of the Sun.
The fantasy story is essentially about the triumph of good over evil. The highlight of the opera is the “revenge aria” sung by the Queen of the Night.
The opera, first performed in 1791, and the current version take place in Schonbrunn Palace ― the Roman ruins, the pavilion in the zoological gardens and the paths through the park.
The music played during the performance is a recording by the Berlin Philharmonic Orhestra, led by Karl Bohm.
In a marionette performance, nine strings are attached to a single puppet, on each leg, hand, shoulder, ear and the base of the spine. The intricate and delicate control of the string puppets presents an almost lifelike impression to the audience. The facial expressions and gestures appear real.
The original marionette theater of the Schonbrunn Palace was founded in 1777 by the aristocrat Prince Esterhazy in honor of the visit by Clemens Wenzel, the elector and archbishop of Trier. The theater was reopened in 1994 and is now led by Christine and Werner Hierzer.
Other productions of the marionette theater include children’s favorites such as “Aladdin” and “Knight Kamenbert” by Loneard Salaz.

By Choi Jie-ho

The Marionnettentheater Schloss Schonbrunn will be performing Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” at the Hoam Art Hall from Thursday to July 27. Performances are at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on weekends. Ticket prices are 20,000 won and 40,000 won, while family seating (three or more persons) is 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 751-9608 or visit www.clubbalcony.com.
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