When An Opera Is Just As Trippy As Any Psychedelic

in Culture

If you’re a regular reader of High Times, you know that we don’t usually cover operas. We do, however, have 45 years’ experience covering psychedelics and the counterculture at large, so when we were presented with the opportunity to view a breakthrough staging of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s legendary opera, The Magic Flute, we took it — along with some edibles, for good measure.

LA Opera’s hallucinatory staging of Mozart’s beloved opera is a trip unto itself, reminiscent of early silent French films à la George Méliès or the Lumière brothers, only with sound — lots of it. Hand-drawn animations are projected onto a massive two-story white wall, subsuming static scenery with stunning visuals that bring an entirely new dimension to the opera. Not only does the multimedia masterpiece include a quirky, enchanted landscape brought to life by professional vocalists, it’s poised to redefine the way theater will be presented in the future.

Theo Hoffman as Papageno and Zuzana Marková as Pamina in LA Opera’s 2019 production of “The Magic Flute”/ Cory WeaverEqual parts vaudeville, cabaret, silent film, and opera, this version of The Magic Flute takes the form of a feature film, only the so-called “film” is a compilation of a thousand separate video files that are projected with an 18k lumen projector 120 feet away from the stage. It’s an entirely new kind of presentation that first debuted in 2012 at Komische Oper Berlin, and has had more than 350,000 audience members in dozens of cities around the world. In 2013, Los Angeles was the first city to host performances of the opera outside Berlin, and it’s featured two more runs since.

Stage director Barrie Kosky was inspired to create this version of The Magic Flute after he attended a performance of a show called Between …

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Author: Tanja M. Laden / High Times

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