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The Magic Flute

U.S. Production Premiere

Overview

A celebration of true love conquering all, The Magic Flute transports us into an enchanted world where good faces the forces of darkness. Under the masterful baton of James Conlon, LA Opera presents the first U.S. performances of a highly inventive staging that originated at the Komische Oper Berlin, created by director Barrie Kosky in combination with the British theater group “1927," whose humorous shows have thrilled audiences all over the world with their interaction between film animation and live-performing actors: “A perfect mixture of all the things worth loving: silent films, the cabaret of the Weimar Republic, David Lynch, and the brothers Grimm (The Guardian, UK)." Packed with exquisite singing and stage wizardry, Mozart's delightful blend of high comedy and serious drama enchants young and old alike.

A production of the Komische Oper Berlin.
Presented in co-production with Minnesota Opera.
LA Weekly is Media Sponsor for The Magic Flute.

Click here to read the program.

Photos: © Iko Freese / drama-berlin.de

Schedule

  • Saturday November 23, 2013 07:30 PM
  • Saturday November 30, 2013 07:30 PM
  • Thursday December 05, 2013 07:30 PM
  • Sunday December 08, 2013 02:00 PM
  • Wednesday December 11, 2013 07:30 PM
  • Friday December 13, 2013 08:30 PM
  • Sunday December 15, 2013 02:00 PM

Cast

Creative Team

* LA Opera debut artist
+ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program member
++ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program alumnus

Synopsis

Act One

In a dark forest, far away…
As he flees from a dangerous giant serpent, Tamino is rescued at the last second by the three ladies who serve the Queen of the Night. When he regains consciousness, the first thing Tamino sees is Papageno, and he believes him to be his rescuer.

Papageno, a bird catcher in search of love, does nothing to dispel the misunderstanding. The three ladies return and punish Papageno for his lies by rendering him mute. They show Tamino a picture of Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Tamino instantly falls in love with Pamina.

Shortly thereafter, the Queen of the Night herself appears and tells Tamino of her daughter’s kidnapping at the hands of Sarastro. Tamino responds with great enthusiasm to her command that he free Pamina. The three ladies give Papgenor back his voice and instruct him to accompany Tamino. As a protection against danger, they give Tamino the gift of a magic flute, while Papageno receives magic bells. The three ladies declare that three boys will show Tamino and Papageno the way to Sarastro.

Pamina is being importuned by Sarastro’s slave Monostatos. Papageno, who has become separated from Tamino on the way to Sarastro, is as scared by the strange appearance of Monostatos as the slave is by Papageno’s. Alone with Pamina, Papageno announces that her rescuer Tamino will soon arrive. Papageno himself is sad that his search for love has thus far proved fruitless. Pamina comforts him.

The three boys have led Tamino to the gates of Sarastro’s domain. Although he is initially refused entry, Tamino begins to doubt the statements made by the Queen of the Night regarding Sarastro. He begins to play on his magic flute, enchanting nature with his music.

Papageno meanwhile flees with Pamina, but they are caught by Monostatos and his helpers. Papageno’s magic bells put their pursuers out of action. Sarastro and his retinue then enter upon the scene. Monostatos leads in Tamino. The long yearned-for encounter between Tamino and Pamina is all too brief. Sarastro orders that they must first face a series of trials.

Act Two

The trial of silence
Tamino and Papageno must practice being silent. Because of the appearance of the ladies and their warnings, their ordeal is a truly testing one. Tamino remains resolute, while Papageno immediately begins to chatter.

Meanwhile, Monostatos again tries to get close to the sleeping Pamina. The Queen of the Night appears and orders her daughter to kill Sarastro. Pamina remains behind, despairing. Sarastro seeks to console Pamina by foreswearing any thoughts of revenge.

The trial of temptation
Tamino and Papageno must resist any temptation: no conversation, no women, no food!

As well as the magic flute and magic bells, the three boys also bring Tamino and Papageno food, which Tamino once again steadfastly resists. Even Pamina fails to draw a single word from Tamino’s lips, which she interprets as a rejection. She laments the cooling of Tamino’s love for her.

Before the last trial, Pamina and Tamino are brought together one last time to say farewell to one another. Papageno is not permitted to take part in any further trials. He now wishes only for a glass of wine—and he dreams of his great love.

For her part, Pamina believes that she has lost Tamino forever. In her despair, she seeks to end her own life, but is prevented from doing so by the three boys, who assure her that Tamino still loves her. Gladdened and relieved, Pamina accepts their invitation to see Tamino again.

Reunited at last, Tamino and Pamina undergo the final trial together.

The trial of fire and water
The music of the magic flute and their love for one another allow Tamino and Pamina to conquer their own fear and overcome the dangers of fire and water.

Papageno is meanwhile still unsuccessful in his search for his great love. Despairing, he now also seeks to end his life, but is also prevented from doing so by the three boys. Papageno’s dream finally comes true: together with his Papagena, he dreams of being blessed with many children.

Meanwhile…
…the Queen of the Night, the three ladies and the turncoat Monostatos arm themselves for an attack against Sarastro and his retinue. However, the attack is repelled.

Tamino and Pamina have reached the end of their trials, and can finally be together.

RUNNING TIME

Two hours and 50 minutes, including one intermission.
Most evening performances: 7:30-10:20pm (approximately)
Friday, December 13 performance: 8:30-11:20pm (approximately)
Matinee performances: 2:00-4:50pm (approximately)

Articles

Multimedia

  • The Magic Flute

    LA Opera: November 13, 2013

    Listen:
    Download File (Right click and "Save As")

    In this edition of the Behind the Curtain podcast, host Brian Lauritzen is joined by LA Opera Music Director James Conlon who confesses an undying love for the music of Mozart. Mr. Conlon talks about that makes Mozart's music so special to him, what makes audiences identify with the different characters in "The Magic Flute" and how this production seems tailor-made for Los Angeles.
Pre-performance lectures are generously sponsored by the Flora L. Thornton Foundation and the Opera League of Los Angeles.

Video

Excerpts from LA Opera's Production

LA TIMES: BACKSTAGE at "THE MAGIC FLUTE"

Tavis Smiley Interviews Lawrence Brownlee

Animator Paul Barritt Discusses his work

Erika Miklosa as the Queen of the Night

Pre-Performance Talks

Get the full story by joining other opera-goers at our complimentary pre-opera talks in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. One hour before the performance begins, LA Opera's acclaimed Music Director James Conlon will present an entertaining and informative talk on the opera. (Please note: there will not be a pre-performance lecture on Friday, December 13.) These talks are free of charge to everybody attending the performance, and no reservations are required.  More info