Columbus Becomes Mozart’s Home Town

Mozart this Sunday(Photo: King Avenue United Methodist Church)
Mozart this Sunday(Photo: King Avenue United Methodist Church)

Who needs Salzburg? The hills may be alive but they are bloody expensive, and you can get better chocolate at Anthony Thomas candies on High Street or Mozart’s Cafe!

April 27-28 is another of those embarrassment of riches weekends in Columbus. The Symphony switches gears.

Opera Columbus presents Canada’s Opera Atelier in Mozart’s The Magic Flute for two performances in the Southern Theatre. The Columbus Symphony is in the pit and the chorus is cast locally.

I could get snippy about this since we could easily cast Flute locally, except Opera Atelier presents fully integrated productions with lots of rehearsal and repeat performances on two continents. Their Don Giovanni here two years ago was one of the best I’ve seen and I’ve seen a lot. The scale of our Southern Theatre worked so well for this production. There indeed was a local singer in a lead–a fine one–and the two performances sold to the walls. I couldn’t find a suitable clip from Opera Atelier, so you’re just going to have to make do with the Met.

I expect the same for Magic Flute. Mozart wrote this opera for the money at the end of his life when he was ill and broke. The setting was a theater beyond the city walls of Vienna, like writing an opera for Pataskala, not that there’s anything wrong with Pataskala. Still, wags griped that Mozart was going pretty low rent. Forget it.

The Magic Flute, okay Die Zauberflöte, is musical magic. It’s filled with tunes you will recognize and will keep you humming. It has a man who dresses like a bird and is girl crazy, a dotty prince with ravishing music, an evil queen who sings high Fs and a bass who sings low Fs. And a pretty soprano lead who gets weepy to gorgeous music. Take the kids to this one.

Sunday afternoon, in direct conflict to the second Magic Flute performance, you can hear Mozart’s Requiem at King Avenue United Methodist Church. Christopher McManus leads the choir and orchestra. This church is a great place to hear music, and McManus conducts a busy and highly skilled choir. I’m down for this one.

I gave away my tickets to the Sunday matinée of Flute. I may try to go Saturday at 8 pm, but Saturday afternoon the Met broadcasts in HD all four and a half hours of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, and I may be getting too old for double headers. Good problems to have, here in the capital city.

Don’t be like me. Do it all!

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