December 6, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


IC’s “The Magic Flute” a Fantastic Fusion of Language and Performance


Up until now, I’ve never seen a main-stage production at Dillingham, something that I’m very ashamed to admit. Seeing Mozart’s Magic Flute opening night especially increased that feeling of “Why T F didn’t I see these sooner?!” with Mengchun Yang and Steve Humes delivering standout performances as Queen of the Night and Papageno respectively. Mixing German and English throughout the play was a radical concept for both keeping the integrity of Mozart’s music and for lulling the audience into initially trusting the Queen as a good character since Sarastro’s clan all speak German.  The actors also alternate between German and English to show their changing allegiances between both the parties. Some people might be turned off by the marquee above the stage that provides subtitles, but it doesn’t hurt to be in the back to see it comfortable. Maybe it’s the English major coming out, but the many functions that language has in this play gets me all hot and bothered…

The chemistry between Tamino (Nicholas Harmantzis) and Pamina (Ana Strachan) on stage is very inspiring, yet I found the Papageno character stole the show as the comedic boon. And, naturally, when Yang came out to sing a piece she would quite literally bring the house down through massive applause. Her dress was a marvel in itself as well, as I could probably move into it like some sort of hermit crab-like dress fetishist if it wasn’t be worn. Call me Mr. Brown Nose –I dare ya!– but I’m extremely thankful and fortunate for the matrimony between Whalen and Dilly for being able to provide this blissful pool of talent.