No disappointiment this time: The Magic Flute - the production of the Berlin Komische Oper, a kind of animated film (comical and 1920s avant garde at the same time) with live singers interspersed - was great fun, even for me who is somewhat wavering about the opera: the music is nice, but the philosophy doubtful. When I discovered a year ago that it would be in the repertoire this year I felt disgusted; I had seen it often enough already. However, I was mostly able to enjoy it. As did others in the audience: the film gave rise to many laughs.

Surprisingly, it was in Finnish. I had read in the programme the name of the translator, but I'm so used to operas in the original language only that it didn't register. But anyhow, the daftness of the translation suited the daftness of the performance well.

A few words about the philosophy. The only way to make it slightly more palatable is for me to see both Sarastro and the Queen of the Night as players in an initiation ceremony. Unfortunately I don't quite see how it would work. Otherwise I have to excuse its naive idealism; in 1791 it was still impossible to know what its ideological kindred spirits would end up doing, first in France and later elsewhere, as difficult as it is. But the performance was entertaining, if one was able to exclude all this.