Magic Flute

Overview

Long out of print, the many adaptations that Russell has done of famous operas are finally collected again in 3 volumes, in the wake of his highly successful massive recent adaptation of Wagner?s Ring of the Nibelung. This first volume presents his adaptation of one of Mozart?s most famous works, a farcical tale mixed with fantasy. The story begins as the Queen of the Night sets Prince Tamino on a quest to rescue her daughter, Pamina from the evil Sarastro. On the way, he meets the bird-catcher Papageno, who is ...

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Overview

Long out of print, the many adaptations that Russell has done of famous operas are finally collected again in 3 volumes, in the wake of his highly successful massive recent adaptation of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung. This first volume presents his adaptation of one of Mozart’s most famous works, a farcical tale mixed with fantasy. The story begins as the Queen of the Night sets Prince Tamino on a quest to rescue her daughter, Pamina from the evil Sarastro. On the way, he meets the bird-catcher Papageno, who is “persuaded” to help Tamino in his quest. Tamino’s spiritual quest is counterpoised with Papageno’s own earthly search for his one true love, Papagena. Both couples’ strivings are juxtaposed with the eternal conflict between Sarastro and the Queen of the Night.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Adapting any work to sequential art is intimidating, but adapting opera takes a special kind of confidence. Adapting comic opera-particularly one by Mozart-takes a confidence that borders on hubris. Fortunately, Russell, who's adapted everything from Neil Gaiman's short stories to The Ring of the Niebelung, has the talent to back up his ambition. Sure and confident, Russell's art switches from tense action sequences to slapstick without missing a beat. His sense of physical characterization is also impressive, helping readers keep track of Mozart's often confusing cast of characters. Even traditionally less-recognized aspects of comics presentation, like color and lettering, here serve the story brilliantly. And as impressive as Russell's art is, his writing is possibly even more noteworthy. Much of this graphic novel is told without narration or dialogue (presumably to simulate the longer musical passages Mozart included in the opera), and Russell's selection of sequential images keeps the story moving along without ever losing readers. When he does use dialogue, often the hardest part of a graphic novel to pull off properly, he hits just the right tones: brash and aspiring for young Prince Tamino, earthy and hearty for cynical bird-catcher Papageno, haughty and cryptic for the mysterious Queen of Night. NBM's reprint of Russell's classic adaptation superbly displays the artist's skill at both writing and illustrating. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
The mysterious Queen of the Night begs Prince Tamino to help rescue her daughter, Pamina, from Sarastro, who she says is a demon who stole Pamina away. Tamino, once he gets a look at Pamina's image, falls in love and agrees to rescue the girl. Along with Papageno, who looks more bird than man, and a magic flute and magic bells, Tamino searches the world for Pamina. Before long he finds her, but he also discovers that Sarastro is not evil but the Queen of the Night is, and together, Tamino and Pamina must face down her evil mother with the strength of their love and with the magic flute, which holds the key to defeating evil. In the end, evil is vanquished, the Sun rises again over the world, and Tamino and Pamina live happily ever after. Russell's illustrated edition of Mozart's The Magic Flute was long out of print, but it is brought back in this wonderful new edition, the first volume in the P. Craig Russell Library of Opera Adaptations. It is gorgeously rendered in Russell's signature style, with realistic and fantastic elements on equal footing. Russell's early training in conventional comic books has prepared him well to tell a much more poetic and sophisticated tale. This volume might not appeal to the fans of the darker graphic novels, but it is a shining example of what the medium can achieve in the right hands,
— John Peacock <%ISBN%>156163350X
Library Journal
Artist Russell, creator of an Eisner Award- winning comics adaptation of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung, has also done several other opera adaptations over the years, which NBM is now collecting into a three-volume set. This full-color hardcover version of Mozart's Die Zauberfl te, originally published by the now-defunct Eclipse Books and itself nominated for an Eisner Award in 1991, is the first. Russell's marvelous artwork, combining realistic figures with decorative backgrounds, perfectly fits this fantasy about Prince Tamino, who is given a magic flute by the Queen of the Night and charged with rescuing her daughter from the clutches of Sarastro. He sets out with his companion, the bird catcher Papageno, but when the two meet Sarastro they discover that they have been misled: Sarastro is a wise and generous man, and the queen is his enemy. The opera's story is extensively rewritten, with added background providing the coherence necessary for the story to stand alone without Mozart's famed music. Recommended for all collections, for teens and adults. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

P. Craig Russell is one of the most respected artists in comics and is well-known for his many stunning adaptations. He lives in Kent, Ohio.

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