, September 2005
In 1982, Austrian Television taped a performance that subsequently was broadcast in this country on PBS. A very fond memory for those who saw it, the production is now back in circulation on DVD (TDK CLOPMF, two discs).
James Levine conducted the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Chorus and a cast putatively led by Edita Gruberova (Queen of the Night), Peter Schreier (Tamino), Ileana Cotrubas (Pamina) and Martti Talvela (Sarastro).
The star of the show, however, was the Papageno: Christian Boesch, a strapping baritone whose knack for physical comedy was matched by his unaffected projection of vulnerability and pathos. (After a long run of Papagenos in Salzburg and Vienna, Boesch retired to Chile and became a cranberry grower.) . . . this is one of the most engaging "Magic Flutes" ever documented on video. . . . Ponnelle's "Magic Flute" is a warmly satisfying production you can live with for years to come.