The Magic Flute

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Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Opera Atelier production, October 2001
with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Artists of Atelier Ballet
Elgin Theatre, Toronto

The premiere of Mozart’s singspiel The Magic Flute took place in the Freihaustheater, Vienna, 1791. This light-hearted opera with its Masonic overtones deals with the conflict between the kingdom of the Queen of the Night and the world of light ruled by Sarastro. During the course of the opera, Prince Tamino and Pamina (daughter of the Queen of the Night) are reunited after going through the trials of fire and water. It is the gift of music which protects them and their fantastic companion, the bird man Papageno. At the conclusion of the opera, the protagonists, along with the rest of the world, embrace a new enlightenment.

Opera Atelier’s 2001 production of The Magic Flute marked the tenth anniversary of the original 1991 production. It was the first period production to take place in North America and the first Mozart opera to be staged by Opera Atelier. Andrew Parrott conducted the 1991 production, and resident music director David Fallis conducted the subsequent 2001 production.

Gerard Gauci: The designs explore the 18th-century fascination with the exotic world of the Far East. Chinese, Egyptian and Indian influences mingle with classical, gothic and Masonic imagery to create a hybrid fantasy world. Garden follies, built as entertainment pavilions on private country estates, provided the inspiration for the three temples and the Queen of the Night’s pagoda.