Part-pantomime, part-opera, Kit Hesketh-Harvey's new production for The Merry Opera Company re-lives The Magic Flute's sublime music and triumphant opening night in 1791. Lofty divas and low comedians flourish. Watching closely are the shadowy forces of Freemasonry. And the composer, Mozart, fears he is being poisoned. A delight for opera connoisseurs and new comers alike.
Merry Opera is a registered charity that aims to widen the audience for opera and at the same time to provide a training ground for up-and-coming professionals of any age and nationality. There are many singers – technically adept and with a flair for performance – who are trying to Balance building a singing career with the need to earn a living. Similarly, there are many designers and young technicians who are eagerly looking to practise their talents and gain experience. Opportunities are few and far between.
Over the last six years, the Merry Opera Company has staged more than 200 performances, reaching an audience of over 30,000 people across southern England, Greater and Central London. In 2012 they took La Traviata to Malaysia for a tour of 14 performances over three weeks, during which they reached an audience of over 2,000 people.
Their adaptations are intended for people who love music and beautiful singing but who may be intimidated (or bored?) by "high culture" – people who want "a good night out at the opera", not "a night at the opera, because it's good for you".
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