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However, bizarre and inconsistent as it is, the story is but a support for better things. The collaborative co-authors Mozart and Schikaneder (the former could have written the words for the Queen's aria and the latter the Papageno-Papagena duet music) succeeded in creating an entertainment in which the cast, most of whom in this new production are making their Opera North débuts, proved quite outstanding.
Tamino (Ed Lyon) discovers the magic of the flute's music. Photo © 2007 Richard Moran
With simple and very effective set and lighting devised by Jean Kalman, the colourful story unfolds with début tenor Ed Lyon as the prince Tamino, saved by the queen's trio of ladies from death, with not only a splendid voice but perfect fingering on his twisted branch of a flute to make him quite impressive in the part. The bird-catcher Papageno is a delight, created with superbly judged comic acting and fine baritone by Roderick Williams.
Sarastro (Chester Patton) offers fulfilment to Pamina (Noriko Urata). Photo © 2007 Richard Moran
Copyright © 16 January 2007
Patric Standford, Wakefield UK