The Magic Flute (2006)
By Mary Warner
Movie sets always seem to be filled with the buzz of excitement and the set of The Magic Flute is no different. Of course, the buzz could really be caused by the constant activity of all the people working to put this movie together. Walking from studio to studio, through the wardrobe room, past the make-up chairs and into the carpentry shop - there is always something going on.
As Kevin Sullivan was setting up the intricate scenes set on stage in Salzburg, you could see the magic of the film. There were professional and distinguished opera singers like Olivier Laquerre and Mireille Asselin working alongside legendary actor Rutger Hauer and the soon to be heartthrob Warren Christie, who themselves were working next to Opera Atelier’s celebrated dancers. Mr. Sullivan choreographed everyone’s movements, the beautiful opera music began and the camera started to roll.
In the next studio over, the hard working production design department, along with many carpenters, have created a train set. Although the train looked somewhat out of place on the concrete floor of a Toronto studio, on camera you really are transported to the Austrian train station as the characters run through the cars.
One more studio over and you can see where the real magic is happening. The largest studio contains the green screen areas where images of Salzburg, Vienna and Munich will be added. Many of the fantastic scenes from The Magic Flute are also taking place against the green screen so special effects can be added. Mozart’s “Bubble Boys” will actually be floating boys in bubbles.
Finally, the last major set is the outdoor studio backlot. Originally created for Wind at My Back and designed to resemble New Bedford, it now feels like you are taking a stroll through Salzburg complete with a chocolate shop, a café, a florist and an outdoor food market. The scenery is quite breathtaking.
The magic of moviemaking is in full effect on the set of The Magic Flute, complete with amazing costumes, sets and music. It is a very exciting place and has me counting down the days until the movie is released.
Toronto production has now
wrapped on the 17-day shoot of director Kevin Sullivan's Papageno Productions
update of the classic Mozart opera, The Magic Flute, starring actor Rutger
"Blade Runner" Hauer as 'Dr. Nagel'.
Other members of the Canadian cast include Warren Christie as 'Tom/Tamino', Mireille Asselin as 'The Girl/Pamina', Oliver Laquerre as 'Papageno' and Curtis Sullivan as 'Sarastro'. Also appearing are members of Canada's Opera Atelier.
Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, wrote The Magic Flute in 1791, immediately after the French Revolution, and just before he died. Fellow composer Haydn had previously introduced Mozart to Freemasonry, and the opera is full of the ideas (the autonomy of the individual), the ideals (power, wisdom, beauty), and the symbols (aprons, hammers, compasses, a pyramid with an all-seeing eye) of the Masons.
Sullivan is noted as the producer of the 'Anne of Green Gables' TV series Road To Avonlea.
Source: Toronto Film
In: Ontario & Quebec News
Toronto: The "lavishness and
eccentricity" of the 18th century will be center stage in The Magic Flute, a
magical realist take on the Mozart opera now in the works at Toronto's Sullivan
Entertainment (Wind at My Back).
The feature - penned, directed and produced by Sullivan boss Kevin Sullivan - follows a young man who is hired, along with his girlfriend, to perform in the famous opera in Salzberg, Austria. Once there, however, he is lured into the criminal underworld by a mysterious diva and "real life" gets jumbled up with that of the stage.
"Reality starts to butt up against fantasy and it's hard to tell which side of the fence you're on," says Sullivan.
Warren Christie (10.5, This Space for Rent) appears along with opera singers Mireille Asselin and Erin Windle, and Rutger Hauer (Sin City).
The footage from the now-wrapped Toronto shoot, much of it in front of a green screen, will be CG'ed together with location shots of Vienna and Salzberg, with Thom Best (Billable Hours) as DOP and effects by Tony Willis (Evel Knievel, Saint Ralph).
The end result will have a highly stylized CG look, says Sullivan, akin to Moulin Rouge or Sin City - highlighting the look and feel of the time.
"It's not really an opera. It's more like a musical," he says. "Audiences today aren't going to watch an aria that goes on for five minutes. They might watch 30 seconds or a minute if it's done with style and panache."
Which is where Opera Atelier comes in. The noted Toronto opera company is also part of the production - lending cast, costumes and crew to the show. Atelier's co-bosses Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Zingg also choreographed Flute's many dance numbers.
by Sean Davidson