The Magic Flute

»The Magic Flute«

»Die Zauberflöte«
Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder

Guest performance Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern

»The Magic Flute« is the favourite opera in Germany. For a long time, it held the top spot in the performance statistics of German-speaking music theatre. Emanuel Schikaneder, at the time of its creation director of the Freihaustheater in Vienna, secretly hoped for this success when he commissioned his friend Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791 to compose an opera of great appeal to fill his 1000-seat house. Schikaneder himself provided the fabulous libretto.

The Queen of the Night asks Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina from the realm of her adversary Sarastro. When Tamino sees the portrait of the princess, he instantly falls in love with her and agrees tothe task. He is accompanied by the cheeky bird catcher Papageno, who yearns for »a girl or a little wife«. To protect them from dangers, Tamino is given a magic flute. The two manage to force their way into Sarastro’s temple. However, Tamino soon realizes that Sarastro is not the villain the Queen of the Night made him believe. Thus, he faces the numerous trials and dangers to win Pamina's hand. Meanwhile, the Queen of the Night realizes that Tamino refuses to bemanipulated for her purposes and now intends to incite her own daughter to murder Sarastro.

Is it a fairy tale? A parable? Or perhaps the secret testament of the Freemasons? Hardly any opera offers as many interpretations as this one. Mozart's beautiful music still makes »The Magic Flute« a stage event. The personality of the characters is revealedrather through music than through words. Mozart composed folk songs for Papageno, baroque arias for the Queen of the Night, sonorous choirs for Sarastro's priests, simple and clear melodies for Sarastro himself and soulful arias for Tamino and Pamina.

Schikaneder's calculation paid off entirely: On September 30, 1791, the premiere took place, conducted by Mozart himself on the piano. Emanuel Schikaneder did the directing and himself played the role of Papageno . By the end of 1791 alone, 35 performances had been stageded, all of them sold out. But Mozart himself did not have much time to enjoy the success of his opera; he died seven weeks after the premiere. For Schikaneder on the other hand, a golden decade began – at least financially. In 1801, with the earnings from the »Magic Flute« he built a new theatre, the still-existing Theater an der Wien. However, as a librettist, he received little recognition during his lifetime. His name was simply not mentioned in many further performances. By 1794, »The Magic Flute« had already been performed in 27 theatres, although critics condemned the story as too mundane. Nevertheless, Schikaneder never concealed his fundamental intentions: »I write for the pleasure of the audience, I don't pretend to be a scholar.«


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In the main auditorium, Großes Haus, we recommend booking from the 8th row for the surtitles service. Please inquire about this offer directly with our box office staff.