Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Musical Director and Conductor: Dmitri Jurowski
Author of artistic concept and Production Director: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Production Designer (set design): Timur Gulyaev
Costume Designer: Zhanna Usacheva
Lighting Designer: Sergey Skornetsky
Video Designer: Vadim Dulenko
Stage Movement: Sergey Zakharin
Production Choirmaster: Vyacheslav Podielsky
Choirmaster: Sergey Tenitilov
Conductor: Eldar Nagiev
Assistant to Stage Director: Nikolay Natsybulin
Assistant to Stage Movement: Dmitry Romanov
2 hours and 40 minutes
performed in the original language (German) with Russian subtitles and dialogues in Russian
Prince Tamino finds himself in the mysterious world of the circus backstage. From the clowning hypnotists, he learns that the owner of the circus The Magic Flute Sarastro stole the rising star Pamina from her mother, the Queen of the Night. The cunning Queen sends the young man an image of her daughter – the poster of the rising star Pamina. The young man is fascinated by the beauty of the girl and is ready to pass all the tests just to win her favor and become part of the circus family. The Queen of the Night gives him a magic flute – it will help him pass all the tests, and his companion pigeon trainer Papageno gets bells that make everyone who hears them dance. The heroes go to rescue the girl with the firm intention to deal with Sarastro. However, they discover the truth: Sarastro is a wise ruler who saved Pamina from the cruelty of her mother, and the Queen of the Night is ready to kill Sarastro just to increase her power… Tamino and Papageno are waiting for a difficult path full of trials, temptation and guile, but also good humor, true friendship and bright love.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's last opera, The Magic Flute, is one of his greatest creations. The mystical fairy tale, which gained success among the composer's contemporaries, is still among the most popular operas performed on the best theatre stages in the world. The libretto for The Magic Flute was written by Emanuel Schikaneder in the spirit of exotic miracles – fairies, priests, magical boys, Masonic trials in the Egyptian pyramid and mysterious transformations constantly replace one another in a colorful kaleidoscope of events. However, Mozart filled the bright fairy-tale plot with deeply philosophical ideas and his most cherished thoughts and ideals - equality of people, faith in goodness and love, the possibility of moral improvement of a person, and ultimately the triumph of lucidity and reason.
Apt humor, unprecedented fiction and the search for the cherished truth of one of Mozart's most optimistic operas are surprisingly intertwined in the production of The Magic Flute directed by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev.
Prince Tamino escapes from the palace to get into the world of circus backstage. Fleeing from the seduction of a snake woman, he faints. Suddenly, three ladies, clowns, appear and chase away the snake woman. They are fascinated by the beauty of a pretty young man. It seems that the god of love himself descended to earth in the form of handsome Tamino. The clowns retire to inform their mistress, the Queen of the Night, of the news of the beautiful young man.
Tamino woke up, but he doesn't remember what happened. The young man's attention is attracted by the sounds of a reedpipe. A funny man appears to his eyes – this is Papageno, a pigeon trainer. The bird lover ascribes the victory over the snake woman to himself and gravely accepts Tamino's gratitude. However, the braggart does not revel in his own prowess for long. The true saviours are returning. They are outraged by Papageno's bragging and immediately come up with a punishment for him: to close the "chatty mouth" with a lock.
With the help of hypnosis, clowns inspire Tamino with the idea that he must save Pamina, the daughter of the influential Queen of the Night, who dreams of taking power from Sarastro, the owner of the circus The Magic Flute. The cunning Queen sends the young man an image of her daughter – the poster of the rising star Pamina. The young man is delighted with the beauty of the girl. If only he could see her... But it's not that simple, the ladies explain, "the girl was abducted by the "unworthy villain" Sarastro.
Tamino is not afraid of difficulties. He fell in love with Pamina at first sight and is ready to pass all the tests just to win her favor and become part of the circus family. The Queen of the Night appears. She turns to Tamino with a passionate plea to save her daughter. The reward for the brave man will be Pamina's hand and heart. The Queen of the Night gives Tamino a flute in a magic case, endowed with the power to turn human enmity into love. Papageno receives the magic bells enclosed in the magician's box from her, and the order to accompany Tamino in all trials.
There is unrest in Sarastro's domain: Pamina has escaped from the yogi Monostatos, assigned to guard her. Monostatos overtakes the girl and intends to achieve her love by any means. Papageno gets into the room where Pamina is locked in. He had never seen such a beauty before. Suddenly met, Monostatos and the pigeon trainer are horrified by the sight of each other. However, Papageno finds a way out how to tell Pamina about the beautiful young man Tamino, about his love for her and his brave decision to save the girl. The prince is not far from here now, and if Pamina wants, he will take her to him. Papageno opens up to Pamina that he is also looking for love. Together they go in search of Tamino.
Sarastro gathers everyone to tell the true reason for his deeds. The Queen of the Night deceived everyone: he is not a villain, but a wise and just man who saved Pamina from the cruelty of her mother. Tamino appears in front of the temple of art, determined to save the daughter of the Queen of the Night; he is accompanied by Papageno, dreaming of quiet family well-being. Sarastro explains the conditions of the first test, after which the union of Tamino and Pamina will be possible. The owner of the circus has not yet decided to initiate the young man into all the secrets.
Papageno and Pamina come across Monostatos on their way. He is ready to grab them, but Papageno remembers his magic bells, given by the Queen of the Night. As soon as he started playing them, a miracle happened: Monostatos and everyone about him started dancing caught up by an unknown force.
Voices are heard around, greeting Sarastro. Pamina is excited: how would the circus owner react to her escape? But the girl's anxiety is in vain. Sarastro promises to help her to find Tamino. The girl's desire to see the young man is realized, that's only thanks to... Monostatos. He caught Tamino and now, hoping to get a reward, has brought him to Sarastro. However, the owner of the circus orders not to reward, but to punish Monostatos for chasing Pamina and detaining the prince. Two young men – Tamino and Papageno – are informed that difficult trials await them ahead.
Sarastro reveals to everyone that Tamino is destined to become the defender of the temple of art. As a reward, Pamina will be given to the prince as a wife, that’s why she was kidnapped from the treacherous Queen of the Night. Tamino and Papageno appear at the entrance to the temple of art. When asked what brought the strangers here, the prince replied that they were looking for lucidity and love. Tamino is not afraid of death and is ready for any trials, but the frightened Papageno is clearly hesitating. Even Sarastro's promise to find him a wife – Papagena – does not tempt the cowardly trainer.
The first test to which the heroes are subjected is silence. Tamino and Papageno see three ladies – faithful servants of the Queen of the Night. They warn Tamino, conjure him to abandon his intentions and persuade him to return to the mistress. But the young man does not say a word in response – the first test is passed.
Monostatos managed to escape punishment, and he still pursues Pamina. This time the Queen of the Night comes to the girl's aid. Pamina is happy to see her mother. She says that Tamino has firmly decided to devote himself to the service of the temple of art and wants to become part of their circus family. The Queen of the Night is furious: her hopes that the young man, having killed Sarastro, will help her to regain her former power are destroyed. The Queen asks her daughter to persuade Tamino to run away, otherwise Pamina will have to part with him forever. But the girl does not dare to betray Sarastro. Then the Queen of the Night threatens to disown her daughter if she does not kill the villain...
Tamino plays the flute. The joyful Pamina comes to wonderful sounds. However, the young men still have to remain silent. Tamino's silence leads the girl to despair: has he fallen out of love with her. Then why should she live?
Suddenly, as out of the blue, an old woman appears in front of Papageno and names herself his beloved. The trainer is perplexed by this news... Papageno and Tamino move on.
The stage turns into an Egyptian sanctuary. Sarastro introduces Pamina and, together with the priests, announces the next test – Tamino must say goodbye to her forever. The tears and pleas of the girl are not able to break the will of the testee – Tamino leaves. The old woman again appears in front of Papageno. She promises the trainer to be a faithful wife, and Papageno... agrees. Suddenly, a wonderful transformation occurs – a pretty ballerina Papagena appears instead of an old woman. There is no limit to delight: Papageno has finally found a wife to himself! But the comic strongmen immediately separate them, shoving Papagena into a bag.
Meanwhile, Pamina is in complete despair. Her heart is torn by severe torments: Tamino does not love her! Only in death does she see deliverance...
Tamino is ready for the final test: he must go through fire and water. Suddenly Pamina appears – she will never leave her beloved!
Papageno, who failed the test, was severely punished: he lost his Papagena. But as soon as he remembered the magic bells and started playing on them, Papagena found herself in front of him again.
The Queen of the Night intends to destroy Sarastro. In this she is helped by her faithful servants, clowning hypnotists and, of course, yogi Monostatos, because Pamina is promised to him for his help.
But the day comes, and the darkness goes away with it... All the dark forces lose their power, the sun rises, reason, love and justice awaken again.