The Magic Flute

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April 2024

Prince Tamino is menaced by a wild dragon. At the last moment he is saved by three mysterious women, who have been sent by the Queen of the Night. When the bird catcher Papageno appears and boasts of his heroic deed as dragon slayer, the three ladies punish him. They present the Prince with a picture of Pamina, the Queen's daughter, who has been imprisoned by Sarastro, Regent of the Sun Temple. Tamino falls in love with her. The Queen appears in person and orders him to join forces with Papageno to save Pamina. They give Tamino a magic flute for protection and the reluctant Pagageno receives a glockenspiel of magical chimes. Led by three boys, the two heroes begin their journey to Sarastro's castle. Tamino is twice prevented from entering by the gatekeepers. At the third attempt they inform him that Sarastro is nothing like the cruel tyrant that the Queen of the Night has made him out to be. Papageno finds Pamina and tries to escape with her. He is able to stall her guard Monostatos with the help of the chimes, but the appearance of Sarastro puts an end to all attempts to flee. Papageno, Pamina and Tamino are compelled to stay in Sarastro's temple and submit to a series of life-threatening trials. First of all they have to learn to be silent, which is especially difficult for Papageno. When an old woman passes, Papageno cannot restrain himself and asks her what her name is. She disappears in a clap of thunder. Papageno consoles himself with the food that is so miraculously served to them. Tamino keeps silent, playing on his flute. Pamina appears, in deep despair that Tamino is no longer talking to her. Her mother has already entreated her in vain to murder Sarastro. When she decides to end her life the three boys seize her dagger and lead her to Tamino. Protected by the flute, both of them pass the ordeals of fire and water, and have now successfully completed all the trials. Meanwhile Papageno, in his great loneliness, conjures up the old woman again and promises to marry her, »if there's nothing better to be had«. All of a sudden she is transformed into a beautiful young girl, but their time has not yet come and she is taken from him again. In his despair he decides to end his life, but the three boys remind him of the magic chimes. Their tinkling brings back Papagena, and the reunion sets them both dreaming of a happy future together. The other pair is happy, too: Tamino and Pamina are inducted into the Society of the Enlightened, which celebrates the ideals of Nature, Wisdom and Reason. Only for the Queen of the Night does the story take a turn for the worse: when she attempts to enter the temple along with her entourage she is devoured by the spirits of darkness.

Mozart's MAGIC FLUTE is the most frequently performed opera in the German-speaking world. This variegated masterpiece straddling Viennese popular theatre, fairytale, myth and the mystery of freemasonry is a puzzle even today: did Mozart and his librettist Schikaneder switch horses in mid-stream, changing allegiance from the Queen of the Night to Sarastro? Should one not distrust the holier-than-thou world of the priests and an ideology that divides the world into good and evil? Are there not traces, even, of discrepancies between text and music, as many a Mozart expert has suggested? Whatever the facts of the matter, it is the music that smooths the contradictions of the plot, elevating them to a worldly realism. The music does not denounce the characters but rather confers on the conflicts an existential dimension. Without this dimension the opera would come over as an irrational fairytale.

Program and cast

Musical direction: Dominic Limburg

Production: Günter Krämer

Stage, costumes: Andreas Reinhardt

Choirs: Thomas Richter

Sarastro: Tobias Kehrer

Tamino: Attilio Glaser

Narrator: Stephen Bronk

1st priest: Padraic Rowan

2nd priest: Gideon Poppe

Queen of the Night: Aleksandra Jovanovic

Pamina: Valeriia Savinskaia

1st lady: Flurina Stucki

2nd lady: Karis Tucker

3rd lady: Gina Perregrino

Papagena: Meechot Marrero

Papageno: Philipp Jekal

Monostatos: Burkhard Ulrich

1st Armoured: Clemens Bieber

2nd harnessed: Patrick Guetti

Three boys: Soloists of the Tölzer Knabenchor

Choirs: Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Orchestra: Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin





18:00 - 21:00

musical direction
Dominic Limbourg
Gunter Kramer
stage, costumes
Andrew Reinhardt
Thomas Richter
Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Tobias Kehrer
Matthew Newlin
Michael Bachtadze
1. Priest
Kyle Miller
2. Priest
Joerg Schörner
Queen of the Night
Hye Young Moon
Sua Jo
1st lady
Flurina Stucki
2nd lady
Karis Tucker
3rd lady
Lauren Decker
Lilith Davtyan
Philip Jecal
Gideon Poppe
1. Armored
Patrick Cook
2. Armored
Gerard Farreras
three boys
Soloists of the Children's Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Deutsche Oper Berlin

The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, Germany. The resident building is the country's second largest opera house and also home to the Berlin State Ballet.

The company's history goes back to the Deutsches Opernhaus built by the then independent city of Charlottenburg—the "richest town of Prussia"—according to plans designed by Heinrich Seeling from 1911. It opened on November 7, 1912 with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, conducted by Ignatz Waghalter. After the incorporation of Charlottenburg by the 1920 Greater Berlin Act, the name of the resident building was changed to Städtische Oper (Municipal Opera) in 1925.


Deutsches Opernhaus, 1912
With the Nazi Machtergreifung in 1933, the opera was under control of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Minister Joseph Goebbels had the name changed back to Deutsches Opernhaus, competing with the Berlin State Opera in Mitte controlled by his rival, the Prussian minister-president Hermann Göring. In 1935, the building was remodeled by Paul Baumgarten and the seating reduced from 2300 to 2098. Carl Ebert, the pre-World War II general manager, chose to emigrate from Germany rather than endorse the Nazi view of music, and went on to co-found the Glyndebourne opera festival in England. He was replaced by Max von Schillings, who acceded to enact works of "unalloyed German character". Several artists, like the conductor Fritz Stiedry or the singer Alexander Kipnis followed Ebert into emigration. The opera house was destroyed by a RAF air raid on 23 November 1943. Performances continued at the Admiralspalast in Mitte until 1945. Ebert returned as general manager after the war.

After the war, the company in what was now West Berlin used the nearby building of the Theater des Westens until the opera house was rebuilt. The sober design by Fritz Bornemann was completed on 24 September 1961. The opening production was Mozart's Don Giovanni. The new building opened with the current name.

© Günter Karl Bose
© Bettina Stöß
© Bettina Stöß
© Bettina Stöß
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