The Magic Flute at the New Met

January 12th, 2017

In a splash of color and elegant whimsy, Mozart’s The Magic Flute sprang to life as never before in its first Met performances at Lincoln Center in the spring of 1967, a highlight of the inaugural season. Russian-French painter Marc Chagall evoked his murals in the Met’s lobby with his designs for this hugely popular production (pictured). It would enchant Met audiences for the next 25 years—and challenge the creative energy of its successors. For the subsequent production, premiered in 1991, artist David Hockney imagined a brilliant, surreal fantasy-world in his painterly designs. Finally, “eye-popping” is the only way to describe the designs and effects of the visionary theatrical auteur Julie Taymor and her team in the current production, which first dazzled audiences in 2004. It returned this winter in the popular abridged, English-language family version.