”Highly recommended! If there is anything even slightly resembling an afterlife, it is a good bet that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was sitting somewhere on Cloud Nine on Thursday night, looking down at Navy Pier’s Skyline Stage, and smiling blissfully as he watched his transcendent opera, The Magic Flute, being performed by the Isango Ensemble of Cape Town, South Africa. This is no artificial cultural crossover, but a brilliant, spirit-lifting, wildly inspired and wholly seamless fusion of European and African traditions.“ Read full review
” True Mozartians will love this enchanting version by Isango Portobello… It has all the original’s essential qualities: soaring lyricism, a sense of celebration, generous moral urgency, playful joviality. From the off, it is touching, sexy and cheeky and leaves you with a rare sense of life-enhancing joy.“
“An explosion of joy from the townships of South Africa… noble and beautiful and tender and funny and touching and true… Exuberance invention and glorious ensemble singing… A sense of celebration and resilience, that seems to encapsulate the human spirit at its best.”
"Mandasi Dyantyis has brilliantly restored The Magic Flute. The singers are accompanied by eight marimbas which send a gurgle through the familiar music: it is as if the whole opera were floating on a stream of water. Sometimes it bounces, sometimes is jazzes. It is not only played: it is performed. This is music embodied and enacted. The spirit of Mozart is honoured while every decorous preconception is ditched. At the front of the auditorium five year-olds were gawping; at the back, 60-year-olds were doing the same."
"Mozart as you have never heard him before, but magic nevertheless… familiar melodies filtered through the distinctive heartfelt and soulful sound and beat of black South Africa. I defy you not to sway along in your seat. A joyous show"
" Packing enough energy to power a couple of national grids, and enough decibels to lift several roofs. Exhilarating and vibrant, exuberant entertainment.
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