Frances Stark Presents her 2015 Absolut Art Award-Winning Project at LACMA

Words by Carla Ingrasciotta
April 28, 2017

Frances Stark is unveiling her digital film adaptation of Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute”. The 2015 Absolut Art Award-winning project will premiere at LACMA in Los Angeles this Friday 28 April 2017.

“The Magic Flute” is one of the most popular operas of all time, written explicitly for an inter-generational audience. Frances’ adaptation of “The Magic Flute” is a 110-minute pedagogical opera, which takes the libretto as its primary visual focus and brings together the fields of contemporary art and popular classical music. She has worked with a number of collaborators to realise the project, including renowned producer H.B. Barnum; conductor Danko Drusko, who adapted Mozart’s original score; and a group of 10-19 year olds who make up the 26-piece orchestra. The project is defined by the idea of artistic exchange across disciplines, generations and genres, resulting in a powerful learning, and teaching experience for all involved.

The vocalists – the defining characteristic of the opera genre – have been substituted with soloists who play the vocal melodies, with each sound uniquely developed to personify each of the 10 characters. The lyrics have also been updated, through Stark’s creation of an amalgam libretto through the study of numerous translations that were then adapted to fit the instrumental melodies while also speaking to both a contemporary audience and the present moment. These animated lyrics appear onscreen, immersing the viewer in the words themselves and enabling a deeper understanding of the wit and relevance of the lyrical content.

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