The Magic Flute, W. A. Mozart

The Magic Flute, W. A. Mozart

The last of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's operas - its premiere on 30 September 1791 took place barely more than two months before his untimely death - The Magic Flute was the work that saw the great composer throw caution to the wind and hurl himself headlong into a world of fantasy. And with its menagerie of creatures, including a serpent, lion, elephant, flamingo, pelican, penguins and giraffe, it is unsurprising that The Magic Flute should feature so prominently in the repertoire of the Salzburg Marionette Theatre.

The Magic Flute is the ideal work to introduce children, as well as adults who are newcomers to opera, to Mozart's unquestioned genius for musical theatre. The Queen of the Night sends Prince Tamino and the bird-catcher, Papageno, on a mission to rescue her daughter, Pamina, from the supposedly evil high priest Sarastro. But all is not as it seems. Turning the tables, Sarastro reveals that he is in fact Pamina’s protector and it is he who now sets Tamino a new challenge, one in which he must undertake three trials to prove himself worthy of the princess’ hand.

Fairy tales and puppetry are a match made in heaven. We know the marionettes are not real, but we suspend our disbelief because of our fascination with the story that they tell and the world, so different from our ordinary common or garden reality, that they create.

Full of delightful characters, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre’s production of The Magic Flute has just the right amount of thrills and spills, not to mention the indispensable happy ending and Mozart’s wonderful music.

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