I was reminded earlier by George at Euzicasa that today is Mozart’s birthday, and I think I’m not alone when I say that he is among my favorite classical composers, and that I wish him a very happy birthday.
To this day, I remember my first experience of a Mozart opera. I was 12 years old and traveling with my grandparents in Europe. We were in Salzburg and they took me to see a performance of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), performed in the famous Salzburg Marionette Theatre. They had introduced me to opera the previous year with Madame Butterfly, and I had loved it, but this was an entirely different experience. The voices were amazing, the production was beautiful, and the marionettes, well, I forgot that I was watching puppets after about the first ten minutes. It made me fall in love with opera and with Mozart, and that love has not diminished one bit over the years.
Now I’m trying to instill that same love in my daughter, and although she’s still a bit young for opera, she’s certainly not too young to enjoy the music of such a marvelous composer. Just last year I took her to her first concert, “Mozart under the Moon,” and we both loved it. It was the night of the “supermoon” and it was an outdoor concert featuring “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” and several other pieces (a gorgeous moon and brilliant music, how can you go wrong?). Its been nearly one year and she still asks to return, and whenever she hears classical music at home or on the radio, she calls it “concert music.” Needless to say, as soon as she’s old enough, we’re hopping a plane to Salzburg to watch the marionettes bring Mozart to life.
I was able to find this series of clips from the Salzburg Marionette Theatre’s performance of The Magic Flute. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything out there that showed an entire scene with decent quality, but at least this gives you a small taste of how magical the experience of watching it was. That Queen of the Night scene was downright breathtaking.