The Broad Stage puts a South African twist on Mozart’s classic opera

Photo by Angela Kase

Photo by Angela Kase

For opera lovers, the trials and tribulations of Tamino and Parmina are a familiar tale.

But now comes an unorthodox twist on Mozart’s classic opera about love and redemption.

In a limited run opening Wednesday at The Broad Stage, the South Africa-based Isango Ensemble performs “The Magic Flute” as an upbeat, all-ages opera in English viewed through a distinctly Cape Town cultural lens.

Originally set to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, Mozart’s original singspiel premiered in 1791 at Vienna’s Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden.

South Africa’s Isango Ensemble, meanwhile, has won an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival in London for the piece. Its producers describe the staging, featuring 20 singers, as “a dizzying array of marimbas, swirling dancers, and brightly patterned costumes.”

Performances of “The Magic Flute” are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 through Oct. 11, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 11 and a 4 p.m. staging on Oct. 12, at The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Tickets are $63 to $108. (310) 434-3200; thebroadstage.com

— Michael Aushenker

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