A Magic Flute to remember, filmed at the 2006 Salzburg Festival! The production's exceptional cast stars René Pape and Diana Damrau.
The 1791 premiere of Mozart's The Magic Flute was a wild success. Mozart's new German-language musico-theatrical work (a Singspiel) thrilled audiences, and its startingly modern music heralded the Romanticism of the coming century. The delightfully virtuosic and crowd-pleasing arias follow one after the other and climax in the second act with the Queen of the Night's "Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinen Herzen," now known as one of classical music's all-time greatest hits. In the year that followed the premiere, The Magic Flute was performed more than one hundred times, setting it on a path toward immortality in the classical repertoire.
Set in an exotic and fantastical land filled with venomous snakes, magical beings, pan flutes, and otherworldly bells, the central love story of the beautiful Pamina and the brave Prince Tamino is punctuated with moments of levity, culminating in a gripping scene between the jester-like Papageno and the cruel Monostatos. Another notable feature of the work is its many references to Freemasonry, manifested in recurrent themes like solitude, initiation rites, trial by fire, blindness, and light after darkness.
In this production, Diana Damrau and René Pape deliver stunning performances as the Queen of the Night and Sarastro. Pierre Audi's subtle staging and Jorge Jara's brilliantly-colored costumes bring out both the comedy and complexity in Mozart's beloved Singspiel.
Photo © Klaus Lefebvre.
2004 Lucerne Festival Opening Concert