This production of Mozarts Magic Flute received enormous and unanimous approval, when it was premiered in Salzburg. Endless applause on the night and an unusual state of accord from the international press where enthusiastic reviews soon gave this staging the status of a legend. Of course, none of that would have had the same appeal if it had not been in accord with Mozarts music, performed quite un-theoretically, with perfect blend of lightness and pathos, humour and profundity, by James Levine and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; nor would it all have worked without a truly Festival-worthy cast of singers whose strengths were perfectly balanced and every single one of whom right down to the members of the chorus was totally committed to the work.
Edita Gruberova, the best Queen of the Night there is today, dazzling in the coloratura passages, powerful in the middle register, unambiguous in her acting. --Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Opera and singspiel, mystery play and popular Maschinenkomödie, immediacy and profundity. () An ideal Magic Flute with lots of feeling, funny characters, circles of flaming stars, a chariot drawn by lions, a monster in the form of a giant serpent and dancing animals --Süddeutsche Zeitung
Levine's Large-scale conducting and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's hyperactive stage magic set their luxury cast bounding around Salzburg's echoingly vast Felsenreitschule stage. Performance **** Picture & Sound **** --BBC Music Magazine,Feb'12