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Friday, Dec. 5, 2008

'Magic Flute' adapted to South African beat

Staff writer

A new collaborative opera that blends Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and African music is coming to Tokyo this month, performed by South Africa-based Isango Portobello Productions.

News photo
Rave reviews: Isango Portobello Productions will present a South African-themed version of "The Magic Flute" in Tokyo from Dec. 13-23.

"The Magic Flute — Impempe Yomlingo" has won the Laurence Olivier Award, which is regarded as the most prestigious award in British theater, and received rave reviews from the British media and audiences.

The work was adapted from Mozart's "The Magic Flute" (1791) by British- born South African resident director Mark Dornford-May. Mozart's familiar music will be played using marimba and drums and will be overflowing with African beats.

The performance and powerful voices of the South African cast create an uplifting feeling that is full of energy.

The story is set in a township and employs various South African languages. "The Magic Flute — Impempe Yomlingo" tells the story of Prince Tamino's quest to rescue Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, from the Priest of the Sun. It's a story about the trials of life and conveys a message of reconciliation.

Isango Portobello Productions was formed by Oscar-winning South African producer Eric Abraham and director Mark Dornford-May, who is based in Cape Town. Together they produce international theater and film projects focusing on South African performers.

"The Magic Flute — Impempe Yomlingo" will be performed Dec. 13 to 23 at Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho (Yamanote Line), at various times. Tickets cost between ¥7,000 and ¥11,000 and are available at Kyodo Tokyo. For more information, call (03) 3498-6666 or visit www.mateki2008.jp/

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