“The House of Magic” is the latest new craze in Macau, operating in Studio City by the hand of Franz Harary. Forget all the card tricks, turtledoves or rabbits coming out of a hat, this world-class magician is considered the pioneer of magic on a grand scale, and had the opportunity to produce his own sandbox right here in Macau.
“It’s a place I was able to create to showcase the best magicians and illusionists on the planet. It was designed by a magician, for magicians, and it was created in such a way that it takes you on a kind of a magical journey throughout the world, throughout history, showing you all of the different incarnations of magic and illusion”, said Harary during an exclusive interview with Magazine & More.
This one-of-a-kind multi-theater attraction accommodates magic acts performed by leading magicians from around the world and it was designed by Harary himself. “The biggest challenge was not magic, it was probably my own personal limitations. I’m a music student, that's my degree and what I know. In retrospect, I should have studied engineering, computer sciences and psychology because those are the three crafts that I use the most”, he said. For this creation, the magician uses a great deal of LED lights, which is something “new in magic” and also surprising because it’s not something very common in magic shows. “Magicians are afraid to have lights behind them, they want nice black curtains so they can hide their magnets and everything else. But LED is where we are today, so I wanted to use it, embrace it, but that meant inventing all new illusions specifically for ‘The House of Magic’”.
Franz Harary was just a teenager when he started getting into magic, an adventure that began at his 13th anniversary. “I got a magic set for my birthday and I was blown away by the idea that, as a little kid, I could suddenly do something that my parents and teachers could not. That is very empowering. Very quickly I started to become fascinated not on how these tricks work, but why they work, the psychology to it all”, he said.
As far as his career goes, Harary started as an illusion designer for pop concerts, including artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Usher. After doing a lot of production design and effects, the artists had the idea to create a space, “almost a theme park”, that would be “all about magic”. A few years later he got a call that led to the creation of “The House of Magic”. “I came to Macau and met Lawrence Ho, he had seen a bunch of things I had done for MTV and took a chance basically. They didn't have room for a theme park, but they did have this space, so I said to create a magic world that operates on theme park velocity but uses a fraction of the space”.
Performing in Macau, however, is not an easy task, according to the magician, especially because the audience experiences so many things in this corner of the world. “The people of this region are being exposed to so much and so quickly that it has been becoming almost impossible to impress them. I am dealing with a very educated audience, but also I’m dealing with the attention span of a four year old because they see so much that they get bored very quickly. Here, more than anywhere, I need to keep hitting them over the head”.
Already operating for a few months, “The House of Magic” keeps trying to reinvent itself with new magicians coming and changing the line-up. Couple Kalin and Jinger, together with Raymond Crowe, are the artists currently performing in the same venue.
“The House of Magic” is probably the biggest attraction in Studio City, but it’s certainly not the only one. In terms of entertainment there is still a lot more to offer, and there are other events that stand out.
The Golden Reel is certainly one of the most impressive ones, which can be seen from afar. It’s the world’s first and Asia’s highest eight-figure Ferris wheel, raising 130 meters high, offering an amazing view of Macau.