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Paul Barritt, illustrator and animator (with performance company1927)


The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute

2009- 2012

This was a project made by the London based performance company 1927 (founded in 2005 by Writer, Performer & Director Suzanne Andrade and Animator & Illustrator Paul Barritt ) in collaboration with the Komische Oper in Berlin and specifically its artistic director Barrie Kosky.

The Magic Flute is certainly one of the most well known operas, particularly in the German speaking world, and for the artists it was important, first and foremost, to make it entertaining and funny and also visually exciting, without any lulls in the action, and for it to flow from aria to aria. The winning conceit 1927 came up with for this was cutting some dialogue to be replaced with neat Silent Movie style text plates. These were then underscored by a pianist. Thus without breaks in the music, it was possible to add in plenty of extra 'gags' and remove any 18th Century humour that is less likely to be understood by contemporary audiences. This meant a focus instead on the intricate interaction between performer and animation in which 1927 specialise.

The adaptation sold out its Berlin run at the Komische Oper and has half sold out the next season already. It was performed at the Los Angeles Opera in November 2013, the Dusseldorf Opera in December 2013, at will be performed at the Minnesota Opera in February 2014, the Edinburgh International Festival August 2014, and the Melbourne Festival in 2016.