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The Magic Flute

Spring 2014

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A revival of Liam Steel’s critically-acclaimed and much loved 2009 production of Mozart’s final masterpiece.
Archive: Spring 2014
  • 4 Stars

    ETO’s production] strikes an ideal balance by being at once entertaining and enlightening, magically simple and yet deeply thought-provoking. Anna Patalong stands out as a warm and smooth-toned Pamina … and Wyn Pencarreg’s quirky Papageno is funny and wistful.

    The Telegraph

  • 4 Stars

    The ETO orchestra brings a zing to Mozart’s well-loved score.

    Sunday Express

  • Conceptually deft, musically satisfying and consistently entertaining … ETO’s Magic Flute is a winner.



Act I

The World of the Queen of the Night

Prince Tamino, a foreigner, is fleeing a monster and faints in terror. He is saved by three Ladies-in-Waiting to the Queen who leave to report the incident to their mistress. As Tamino recovers, Papageno, the Queen’s bird-catcher, approaches and pretends to be the prince’s saviour. The Ladies overhear him and padlock his mouth. They give Tamino a portrait of the Queen’s daughter, Pamina, who has been kidnapped by Sarastro. Tamino instantly falls in love with her and the Queen promises her daughter’s hand in marriage if he rescues her. The Ladies arm Tamino with a magic flute; Papageno, ordered to accompany him, is given magic bells. Three Boys are sent to guide them to Sarastro’s fortress.

The World of Sarastro

Pamina has tried to escape but is recaptured by Monostatos, who has evil designs on her. Papageno arrives – he and Monostatos terrify each other – and Monostatos runs off. Papageno tells Pamina of the rescue mission and of Tamino. Meanwhile, the Boys lead Tamino to the fortress where he meets Sarastro’s Spokesman who questions his preconceptions about Sarastro and leaves him confused. He plays his flute
– with magic results. Hearing Papageno’s bird-pipe, he leaves to find him. Papageno and Pamina run into Monostatos but the magic bells save them. Sarastro arrives and Pamina begs for his mercy. Monostatos arrives with Tamino and Sarastro instructs his priests to prepare Tamino and Papageno for the rites of initiation.


The priests bless Tamino and Papageno and verify their readiness for the ordeals. Papageno is reluctant to participate but is promised a girlfriend – if successful. The priests warn them about the cunning of women and swear them to silence. The first trial begins: the three Ladies appear and implore them to flee but the heroes resist. Meanwhile, Monostatos’s designs on Pamina are again thwarted, this time by the Queen who demands that her daughter murder Sarastro. Monostatos attempts to blackmail her, but is banished by Sarastro, who reassures Pamina that he does not intend to exact revenge on her mother. The second trial begins: Papageno forgets his vow of silence and chats to an old woman. Before disappearing, she claims to be his lover. The Boys return with the flute, the bells, and a feast. Pamina enters and is devastated when Tamino will not speak to her. Papageno is told he has failed the tests. The old woman returns and Papageno reluctantly pledges himself to her. She transforms into Papagena and disappears again. Elsewhere, the Boys prevent the heartbroken Pamina committing suicide. Sarastro’s henchmen prepare Tamino for the final ordeals of fire and water and Pamina is allowed to undergo the trials with him. They succeed and are welcomed into Sarastro’s order. Papageno however, deprived of Papagena, decides to hang himself. Again, the boys intervene and remind him to play the magic bells – Papagena returns. The Queen, her Ladies and Monostatos storm the fortress, but are destroyed by thunder and lightening. Sarastro’s order celebrates.