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Cordingley, A. (2024). [Costume Design] The Magic Flute. By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Emanuel Schikaneder. Directed by Kate Gaul. Opera Australia, Sydney, 2024.

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posted on 2024-06-17, 22:30 authored by ANNA CORDINGLEYANNA CORDINGLEY
This new expression of Mozart's The Magic Flute, directed by Kate Gaul with Costume Design by Anna Cordingley, has been conceived as a companion piece to Idomeneo. Uniquely, two new major works share a staging world, enabling dovetailing-programming throughout Opera Australia's summer season, 2023-4. In defiance of the expectations typically set by the form, this production seeks humility, self-effacement, playfulness, absurdity and potency. Australia's antipodean performance history is foregrounded in treatment of character, as tropes from vaudeville and pantomime inhabit the costume palette. Contemporary Sydney audiences are mirrored onstage as the acolytes of Sarastro, in what is a wistful, jovial but satirical celebration and resolution at the end of Mozart's famed opera. The chief contribution made by this new production centres on voice and generation; female conductors, directors and designers still rarely have the opportunity to re-evaluate the opera canon, and importantly, this work aligns with the arrival of Opera Australia's new Artistic Director, Jo Davies. It is hoped that this season marks a turning point in the expression of the artform across our main stages.

History

Add to Elements

  • Yes

NTRO Output Type

  • Original Creative Work

NTRO Output Category

  • Original Creative Work : Design / architectural Work

Place

Sydney, Australia

Venue

Sydney Opera House, Opera Theatre

NTRO Publisher

Opera Australia

Medium

Live Performance Costume Design

Research Statement

This new expression of Mozart's The Magic Flute explores, investigates and then seeks to usurp and reinvigorate the artform. Both Australia's antipodean performance history and current urban culture is foregrounded in this new treatment. The chief contribution made by this new production centres on voice, idea generation and experimentation; female conductors, directors and designers here re-evaluate the opera canon in defiance of typical expectations set by the form. The work reveals humility, self-effacement, playfulness, absurdity and potency. Australia's antipodean performance history informs treatment of character, as tropes from vaudeville and pantomime inhabit the costume design. Attesting to the strong impact of the are multiple and diverse critical voices in response to the chief conceit and experimentation. Both scholarly and critical reception stretched the gamut from enthusiastic to furious, revealing an exciting originality, creative daring and potency in the explorations made by the creative team. The significance of both Opera Australia and the Sydney Opera House, as major cultural institutions with broad reach also testifies to the value and investment of the output. Across 2023, Opera Australia registered box office numbers reaching $65.7M, performed 76 schools works and engaged 276 young classical singers as part of its national touring program. This creative research has been commissioned for a second season in Geelong, late 2024, further extending its impact.

Size or Duration of Work

Major Main Stage Summer Season. Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one interval.

Affiliation

Anna Cordingley, University of Melbourne

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