First Street Gallery
Lisa Zwerling
The Magic Flute
Paintings Inspired by Mozart's Opera
October 2 – 27, 2012
Tamino chams the animals
Tamino charms the animals, oil on panel, 24" x 18" (61 x 45.7 cm)
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 4, 6 - 8 pm
The Opera Company of Brooklyn Performs The Magic Flute in the Gallery on October 24

Throughout history, artists have been inspired by music. Now, Lisa Zwerling has created a series of 38 paintings inspired by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's operatic fantasy The Magic Flute. For Zwerling, who usually paints in series, The Magic Flute is her most extensive and concentrated.

The Magic Flute fuses personal tales of love and loss with Masonic philosophy about values and wisdom. Zwerling makes both parts intimate with a keen interest in psychology and an expressive style. Zwerling's paintings explore the emotional flowering of the opera's characters as they set forth on an enchanted quest to rescue a princess and reach a state of enlightenment. The Magic Flute offers an abundance of visual inspiration including magic bells and a magic flute, child spirits, trials of fire and water, a dragon, a vengeful queen with a high F note, comedic characters bedecked in feathers, and enchanted villains.

Though the paintings create a continuous narrative, and in a rejection of the same sized grid, each is a different size and shape, in a staccato visual play. Zwerling does this to keep the viewer involved, just as film moves back and forth between distance and close-up. A thread of repeated color weaves throughout as a leitmotif. Music and dance have been essential to Zwerling, a former dancer with professional musicians in the family.

In a unique fusion of art and music, The Opera Company of Brooklyn will perform The Magic Flute in concert form on October 24th at 8:00 pm at the gallery. Lisa Zwerling's paintings, in conjunction with this exclusive performance, give fans the opportunity to experience a new visual interpretation of the opera. For ticket reservations, visit: Tickets are available for $60.


Gallery hours: 11 am - 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday