Have you ever wondered what it would be like to mix the animation styles of Salvador Dali and Tim Burton with the theatrical elegance of a Charlie Chaplin silent film and do it all onstage live to a comedic opera by Mozart? Who hasn’t? My 10-year-old daughter and I attended a Sunday matinee of Minnesota Opera‘s production of The Magic Flute this weekend and we were blown away by the artistry of this opera. You really need to see this live to get the full effect, but you can get a sampling from the trailer below:
Should You Bring Your Kids?
This opera would be appropriate for older grade school and up. It is nearly three hours with a 20 minute break in the middle, so they should have some track record for longer periods of attention. There is mild animated nudity about the level of this Salvador Dali/Disney animated short:
Certain parts are as scary or macabre as anything by Tim Burton:
The film is in German with subtitles, but I often forgot to read the translation. It didn’t really require language for the story to come across. The traditionally spoken parts of the show were in the style of an old silent film with white words on a black background. These were a little more necessary to read in order to follow the story, but I think anyone with a third grade reading level could keep up.
I would not recommend preparing for this opera with too much pre-study. Some versions of the Magic Flute on YouTube might actually scare your kids off. However, afterwards, if they enjoy the story and want more, there is an animated version by the BBC in two parts on YouTube. This would be fun to watch together to compare styles.
My daughter enjoyed this performance and was laughing out loud at several parts. She was a bit tired by the end and wished we had snacks for the intermission. She asked me to recommend buying or bringing a snack to eat in the lobby during the intermission. We would definitely choose another matinee, but we would do this again.
The Minnesota Opera provided two tickets to facilitate our review. Opinions are our own. The Magic Flute runs through November 22, 2015. Tickets are available at the Minnesota Opera.