Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The Magic Flute

Janáček Theatre / Opera 19/03/2023 17:00 - 19:35

Staged in the German original with Czech, German and English subtitles.

Our destiny is not inscribed in the stars, but within ourselves.

The new Magic Flute will be the first opera production by the excellent actor and director Miroslav Krobot, whose time at the Dejvice Theatre has been a great era for that institution. It was with the Dejvice ensemble that he encountered Mozart´s most popular opera for the first time and performed it, with his own arrangement, with great success in 2003. What will his Brno production be like? The Magic Flute is a story of hope in a time of dramatic division. It is a story with a happy ending. We shall draw inspiration from the diversity of Mozart´s music and the comedic potential of the libretto with the aim of creating a production that appeals to viewers through its music and acting. We would like to treat it as something from the original genre of fantasy, rather than as a fairy tale or mystery.  The story concerns Tamino, who is searching for Princess Pamina with the help of a magic flute and a talkative bird-catcher named Papagena. It is based on the singspiel tradition, where singing alternates with the spoken word, and is full of philosophy and references to Masonic symbolism, as well as humour and of course Mozart’s charming music in particular. Although the creators of The Magic Flute intended it for less sophisticated audiences at the suburban Schikaneder Theatre, the composer wrote unique musical numbers for his characters, including the virtuoso part of the Queen of the Night, which is the highest peak of every coloratura soprano’s art, and the lyrical arias of the lovelorn couple, Tamino and Pamina, as well as Papageno and Papagena’s cute Pa-pa-pa duet.

Premiere: 13th April 2022 at the Janáček Theatre

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2 h 35 min, two intervals

In the beginning…

The spacecraft Seven Solar Circles is on its way to a distant planet. Its crew is commanded by a captain, together with a first officer (nicknamed the Queen of the Night), who is the captain’s wife, and a second officer named Sarastro.

The ship encounters an asteroid field during its travels. As a re­sult of damage sustained, automatic systems guide the ship into the orbit of the nearest habitable planet, after which rescue modules transport the ship’s crew to the surface. However, it isn’t uninhabited, so the space castaways soon meet the locals.

The crew try to establish contact with the ship, but their efforts are in vain. The situation is complicated by the death of the captain, who hands over his powers to the second officer, Sarastro, instead of the Queen of the Night. The crew splits into two opposing factions and the Queen of the Night and her followers leave the camp. To fore­stall any attacks, Sarastro kidnaps Pamina, the Queen of the Night’s daughter.

10 years have passed since the accident and the crew is still unable to establish contact with the ship…

 

…ten years after

Act 1

Ten years have passed since the emergency landing on the planet. Both rival factions are still trying to connect with the Seven Solar Circles, but without success. Over time, the failed attempts become automatic rituals.

The situation changes at the moment when the space explor­er Tamino appears on the planet. The ladies from the Queen of the Night’s party are sent to capture him so that he doesn’t fall into Sarastro’s hands. One of the local inhabitants, Papageno, happens to turn up there. The ladies give a picture of Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night, to Tamino, and ask for his help in rescuing the girl from the kidnapper Sarastro’s clutches. Papageno, to his no great delight, is to be Tamino’s companion in this dangerous task, and their guides will be the Three Genies. Further aid is provided in the form of a magic flute for Tamino, and a carillon for Papageno.

Pamina tries to escape from Sarastro, but is caught again by Monostatos, who is supposed to be guarding her. He has fallen in love with the girl, but strives to win her love in vain. Papageno appears, manages to lure Monostatos away, and then flees with Pamina.

The three genies take Tamino to Sarastro’s camp, where he is stopped by the Spokesman. Only those who come as friends can ven­ture further. Monostatos catches up with Pamina and Papageno, but the carillon has unexpected effects on him and his helpers. Sarastro arrives and Monostatos brings Tamino. Pamina and Tamino fall in love at first sight, but they cannot stay together, as Sarastro’s men take away Tamino and Papageno.

 

Act 2

To get Pamina, Tamino must prove himself worthy of being a member of the crew of the Seven Solar Circles. Papageno hesitates, but when he is promised a girl who is similar to him, he agrees, as he thought until now that he was the last of his kind. The Queen’s ladies try to disrupt Tamino’s test of silence, trying to make him speak, but with­out success.

Monostatos’s desire for Pamina drives him insane, but his love­lorn sighs are interrupted by the arrival of the Queen of the Night. She wants Pamina to murder Sarastro. Pamina refuses. Monostatos hears their conversation and threatens Pamina, saying that if she refuses to love him, he will reveal everything to Sarastro. Sarastro appears and arranges for Monostatos to be taken away.

Tamino and Papageno continue with their tests. A strange crea­ture appears and claims to Papageno that she is his lover. Pamina comes to see Tamino. His silence leads her to despair. The strange women returns and Papageno finds out, to his great joy, that this young girl is of his kind. However, she is driven away by Sarastro’s men before they manage to get closer.

The desperate Pamina wants to take her life, thinking that Tami­no doesn’t love her, so the three genies take her to him. He is getting ready for the last test, and Pamina decides to undergo it with him. Papageno is desperate because of the loss of Papagena, and he wants to hang himself. He is stopped by the Three Genies, who advise him to try the power of the carillon. Papagena really appears, and nothing stands in the way of their happiness.

Tamino and Pamina pass the tests. The Queen of the Night, along with Monostatos, tries once more to destroy Sarastro, but everything is interrupted by Tamino and Pamina’s successful attempt to establish contact with their ship. The Seven Solar Circles lands on the planet, and all of the crew members board the ship together to continue their original journey. The inhabitants of the planet wave them goodbye with relief.

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Production team

Pavel Šnajdr Musical preparation, Conductor
Ondrej Olos Conductor
Miroslav Krobot Director
Andrej Ďurík Set Design
Jana Preková Costume Design

Cast

When do we play?

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Subscription: DV, VS, VS2
  • 19/03/2023
  • 17:00 - 19:35

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