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Magic Mozart is a strange release. Even the cover suggests more than it delivers: a 3D photo of the composer that promises to alter when tilted, but just seems to go blurry. Maybe my tilting skills aren’t up to scratch. Under the musical direction of Laurence Equilbey, it is the soundtrack to a forthcoming show that will combine arias and ensembles, dancers, circus and video to create a ‘musical cabaret’ illustrating the link between Mozart and magic. According to the booklet, this will explore forms of magic – black is evil, white is good and red is love. (Doesn’t anyone at the record label check this blurb? Someone in PR perhaps, or even better, the legal team?) It is all rather tame, and won’t even be a souvenir of the show as I see the singers will be different. Nobody much enhances their reputation. Sandrine Piau sings Countess Almaviva’s two arias efficiently but won’t be anyone’s first choice. Jodie Devos’ Queen of the Night is a little approximate of pitch: the initial high F of each arpeggio doesn’t quite land safely. Stanislas de Barbeyrac’s tenor is pleasant, with all that implies, Lea Desandre’s mezzo the same, and Florian Sempey mugs Papageno and redeems himself with Giovanni. Loïc Félix is fine in character tenor numbers. Equilbey’s conducting is more interesting, crisp and pointed. But there is something disappointing about the whole affair and it just doesn’t get going.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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