Of all of W.A. Mozart's operas, The Magic Flute remains the most charming and playfully delightful of his vocal works. One of the Queen of Night's birdlike arias, "Der Hölle Rache," is an operatic mainstay, and Emanuel Schikaneder's fanciful libretto about the adventures of Pamina, Prince Tamino and Papageno has always been a delightful musical fairy tale that evokes ... oh, wait. It says here that Pacific Opera Project has decided to update this beloved, classic story by setting it in the 1980s and populating it with Super Mario Brothers–like characters from video games. Schikaneder's gentle libretto has been shredded in favor of a new English-language parody by POP director Josh Shaw and archly comic bass-baritone E. Scott Levin, who wears plumber's overalls and a cheesy fake mustache as Pa-Pa-Papageno.
El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Sat., March 2 & 9, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 3 & 10, 3 p.m.; Fri., March 7, 8 p.m.; $20-$60. (818) 508-4200, pacificoperaproject.com/magicflute.
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