Apparently, not many people throw “Magic Flute” parties, as in, the opera by Mozart. From what I can tell, parties centered on Mozart himself are not too common either. At least, if they exist, they don’t get broadcast in the internet world.
Well, Drama Queen has never been one to stick with the norm, and she decided that her 7th birthday party should be based on Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” To be precise, she prefers the children’s version by Classical Kids, “Mozart’s Magical Fantasy.” I’m a big fan of copying other people’s ideas that I find on the internet, but they just weren’t out there for this one. Therefore, I’m posting photos from her party just in case someone else out there is just weird enough to throw a Magic Flute party.
Some of you may be like I was four months ago and not know what this Magic Flute thing is. It was the last opera Mozart wrote, prior to his death only months later. “Mozart’s Magical Fantasy” is a modified version of the real thing. It begins with a girl named Sarah visiting an orchestra during a dress rehearsal of the “Magic Flute”. She is specifically there because her mom is playing the part of the Queen of the Night. However, the lights go out, the “rehearsal” begins, and Sarah is swept up into the story. She uses her flute to defeat a dragon who is attacking the prince, Tamino. (In the real version, there is no Sarah, and the dragon is killed right away. In this version, the dragon is shrunk and becomes quite the scaredy-cat – a good comic-relief character.) A bird-calling man dressed in feathers (another comic-relief character) named Papagino enters the story, and they all go off to find princess Pimena. Her mother is the Queen of the Night, who turns out to actually be the “bad guy” of the tale. The scorcerer Sarastro, who the Queen of the Night has portrayed as the evil abductor of her daughter, turns out to be the kind, benevolent father-figure. Tamino has to face challenges to win his love, Pamina, during which Sarah’s magic flute is very helpful. Papagino finds his true love, Papagina, and Sarah and the dragon sing their own song to each other about the journey being over. (That’s the song my kids go around the house singing the most.)
Since I couldn’t find much specifically in terms of Mozart or Magic Flute, I went with a general music note theme. That, of course, had lots of ideas online. I found this colorful party plate set, called Dancing Music, on Birthday in a Box, which was perfect for us.
For food, I used music note cookie cutters for cheese and jello, made sandwiches to (kind of) resemble piano keys, and arranged veggies as an eighth note. (Okay, so there’s not actually a piano in “The Magic Flute,” but Mozart was an accomplished pianist, so it works!)
You can see my centerpiece there as well. It was simply the CD, along with a Mozart bio and a Magic Tree House book based on the story. We bought that little Mozart finger puppet recently when we went to an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra production of “Tchaikovsky Discovers America” – another from the Classical Kids collection. I gave The Brain the task of finding a way to make it stand, and this was his humorous solution.
We didn’t do much with decorations. Mr. BANG and Drama Queen hung up streamers everywhere (two rolls for $1 at Dollar Tree), and I hung up a couple things from the Dancing Music set. (The next day, while walking across a parking lot downtown, Drama Queen commented out-of-the-blue, “Happy treble clef Birthday. I love that!” lol)
I always like to have fun with my kids’ birthday cakes. I’ve made a construction truck scene, a train, and a pirate ship, among others. To be clear, I’ve never taken any classes and don’t particularly have any skill in cake decorating. (My pirate ship completely fell apart, so I made up the story that Hook had tried to shoot cannon balls at Peter Pan but it backfired, destroying his own ship. The kids loved it!) But I just have fun with it and don’t worry about perfection. I give my kids lots of examples to prove their mom is not perfect!
I thought through how to make this cake. Again, I normally just copy other people’s cakes – I’m not so creative myself – but there was nothing for me to copy this time. I finally decided to make kind of a swirling staff with notes like on our plates, and just have a toy dragon and fondant flute sitting on top. Again, it’s nowhere near perfect, but Drama Queen absolutely LOVED it, and that’s what matters! Plus, all the little boys at her party thought it was super cool that she had a dragon on her cake! (Only one other family knew the Magic Flute story at all. Drama Queen and Mr. BANG had planned with those two sisters to put on a play of it for the other kids, but unfortunately, of all things, their car broke down and they weren’t able to make it!)
For party favors we gave them recorders, pencils with flute pictures on them, music note stickers, and some random things from my “treasure box” left over from my public school teaching days a decade ago! My kids’ poor friends are going to be getting those in every goody bag and Easter egg hunt until they’re teenagers! Oh, I also got some free personalized merchandise with my order, so I got these cute personalized magnets for some of the guests.
As for special activities and games and creative, fun crafts…I don’t do those. I’m a big fan of sending the kids outside to play – they come up with plenty of fun on their own without me interfering! This year we did actually rent bouncies for the first time. Drama Queen had been asking for a party at a local bouncy house, and we had told her she could do that as her present from us. Then The Brain had the brilliant idea to use the same amount of money to rent bouncies at our house. That way, we could do it anytime we wanted and invite as many people as we wanted, and let the party last as long as we wanted! (From the first family’s arrival to the last family’s departure was about 4.5 hours!)
The only theme related activity was that I had some coloring sheets set out: a dragon, music notes, a flute, and a girl playing a flute. A few kids did have fun coloring those pictures.
We also did our annual Montessori birthday walk. I gave her the choice this year if she wanted to do it or not. She said she did because “it’s a special part of having a birthday.” It’s fun each year having new friends who are so curious about the whole thing, and older friends who are eager to explain what it all represents.
Another successful birthday party in the books! (and on the blog…)