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Everybody loves “The Magic Flute.” Ever since its Vienna premiere in 1791, this philosophical fairy tale has been one of the most frequently performed in the repertoire. (Actually it’s not an opera but a singspiel, a kind of operetta, with long sections of spoken dialogue.) “The Magic Flute” has always appealed to directors and designers, who have responded with fanciful interpretations and settings, from Alaska to outer space.
But if you ask someone who has just seen “The Magic Flute” to retell the plot, they might well stumble. Confronted with the dated sketchiness of Emanuel Schikaneder’s original libretto, the creators of Boston Lyric Opera’s new English-language adaptation have done some radical updating and streamlining, resetting the action among Mayan ruins in present-day Mexico.