Mozart sets right the voice

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The new production of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Die Zauberflöte premiered on 8 December is both irregular and traditional, but it can be stated, it evokes the spirit of the original work. The production’s artistic director, the opera-star Eva Marton was interviewed about the newly translated Mozart’s opera with young artists.

 

- Previously in the Franz Liszt Academy of Music only arias and highlights were performed in concerts, but now it seems that the most magical work of Mozart brings a new era in the renewed building, which regained its original splendor. What can the audience expect?

- According to András Almási-Tóth’s conception we have a modern, youthful and animated production, which will be really different than the accustomed adaptations, but it will totally correspond with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The audience can enjoy a real opera in the former chamber hall recently named after Sir Georg Solti, which has recovered its theatrical function.

- Is this scenically and orchestrally monumental work, which needs a large number of performes, fit in the Sir Georg Solti Chamber Hall?

- What do you think, how it was performed in Mozart’s age? In the 18th century there weren’t great orchestras everywhere and the singers were rather actors, like the first Papageno, the librettist Schikaneder. In the most performances there were as much musicians as it was possible to recruit and the orchestration accommodated these circumstances. I had to realize if we insist on the traditional way, it isn’t sure it will be useful. In the case of Die Zauberflöte it means that the traditionality in a good sense kills the improvisation, which was a characteristic of Mozart and his age. This also applies to the stage direction, because the baroque theaters weren’t larger than the Sir Georg Solti Chamber Hall. So we returned to the roots in a proper sense. But we didn’t score out anything with exception of some choruses. The original libretto’s hardly followable, sometimes ravelled plot has been dramaturgically revised by András Almási-Tóth, who put the songs in order.

- Does the new translation serve this aim, too?

- According to the directorial conception Dániel Varró has rejuvenated the libretto. I admit that I was shocked by the first version: it was so modern. For example a prince doesn’t say to his servant: “Stop your gob!” And not only because of the stage’s sacredness, but it’s an unrealistic situation. Over the long pull we have worked on the text through many nights together with Dániel Varró and Alpaslan Ertüngealp, who conducts the splendid orchestra. I helped for them from tact to tact wishing the singers can sing every note well, the prosody can fit in with the rhythm and the melody, where we can sing “a”, “á”, “é” or “í” and where the strong and the weak beats are.

- Are the students satisfied with the corrections?

- The singers are excellent, talented students and young professionalists. They could carry out also more difficult tasks, but it’s evident, they enjoy the new, modern text and the really funny jokes. On the other hand they work hardly. It’s a lifelong experience: now they learn, who can sing Mozart, he or she can cope with everything, because there isn’t any place for shouting in Die Zauberflöte. I realized in the rehearsals of the Wiener Staatsoper’s legendary Mozart-performances that Mozart sets right the voice.

 

                                                                                                                           (Vajna)

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