The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's infrequent presentations of opera-in-concert over the past decade have included a repertoire well off the beaten path — Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" in 2000 and Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle" in 2005. This weekend, the focus is very familiar, very popular fare: Mozart's "The Magic Flute."
"It is the first opera I ever heard when I was a kid," said BSO music director Marin Alsop. "My dad told me the story and all about the secret codes, how the number 3 is important. When Papageno [the bird-catcher] lies and gets a lock on his mouth, I thought that was so funny."
The BSO presentation is billed as "semi-staged" and comes complete with a noted opera director, Michael Ehrman.
"People know by now that when I say 'semi-staged,' look out," Alsop said. "We won't have sets, but there will be costumes and props and quite a bit of action. And the orchestra will be integrated into the experience. One of the things that bothers me sometimes in opera is that the orchestra isn't present enough in a visual way."