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Wolfgang A. Mozart Die Zauberflöte

A German opera in two acts, K. 620
Text by Emanuel Schikaneder (1751–1812)

In German, with English surtitles

Duration of the performance: approx. 3,25 hours


  • 13 August 2008, 19:00


  • 20 August 2008, 19:00
  • 22 August 2008, 19:00
  • 26 August 2008, 19:00
  • 28 August 2008, 19:00
  • 30 August 2008, 19:00

Print programme (PDF)


Riccardo Muti, Conductor
Peter Schneider (28.08, 30.08), Conductor
Pierre Audi, Stage Director
Saskia Boddeke, Associate director
Karel Appel, Sets
Jorge Jara, Costume Design
Jean Kalman, Jan Koremans, Lighting Design
Min Tanaka, Katarina Bakatsaki, Choreography
Klaus Bertisch, Dramaturgy
Thomas Lang, Chorus Master


Franz-Josef Selig, Sarastro
Michael Schade, Tamino
Franz Grundheber, Speaker
Albina Shagimuratova, The Queen of Night
Genia Kühmeier, Pamina, her daughter
Inga Kalna, First Lady
Karine Deshayes, Second Lady
Ekaterina Gubanova, Third Lady
Vienna Boys' Choir, Three Boys
Markus Werba, Papageno
Irena Bespalovaite, Papagena
Dietmar Kerschbaum, Monostatos
Robert Chafin, First Man in Armour
Ante Jerkunica, Second Man in Armour
Franz Grundheber, First Priest
Peter Sonn, Second Priest
Michael Autenrieth, Third Priest/Slave
Michael Stange, Tobias Ofenbauer, Slave

Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic


Fairy-tale and deeper meaning: The Magic Flute is Mozart's most popular and also his most mysterious opera. Just as Schikaneder's libretto combines the symbolism of the Freemasons and a fashion for all things Egyptian with the influence of Vienna's popular theater and "machine comedies”, musically the opera is marked by its heterogeneity: the Queen of the Night's pathos stands beside Papageno's folksiness, touching moments next to sacred ones, exalted scenes next to buffoonery. Mozart puts both the "higher” and the "lower” elements of style to work in characterizing his protagonists, without judging them. He is not interested in cut-outs, but in people, and he portrays them in all their contradictory thoughts and feelings. Thus, the enlightened "ideologue” Sarastro appears as a highly ambivalent personality. If one is willing to accept "sublimation towards a pure humanity” (Stefan Kunze) as the central idea of the Magic Flute, then one must also ask which figure comes closest to this humanity: Sarastro or Tamino or Pamina… ?
Pierre Audi's production, which places the action within the brilliantly colorful sets by the great Dutch painter Karel Appel (1921–2006), sees the Magic Flute mainly in the context of its tradition as a magical and fairy-tale opera: a visual spectacle full of exuberant imagination and vitality.