Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Magic Flute / Die Zauberflöte KV 620
Premiere: 13th June 2019
Libretto: Emanuel Schikander
Staging and directing: Giovanny Castellanos
Set designer: Rafał Olbiński, Katarzyna Gabrat-Szymańska
Costumes: Marcin Łobacz
Choreography: Jakub Lewandowski
Lighting design: Damian Pawella
Sarastro – Krzysztof Borysiewicz
The Queen Of The Night – Joanna Moskowicz, Maria Rozynek-Banaszak
Tamino – Aleksander Kunach, Emil Ławecki
Pamina – Ingrida Gapova, Aleksandra Szmyd
Speaker of the temple – Piotr Nowacki, Dariusz Górski
Papageno – Artur Janda, Paweł Trojak
Papagena – Aleksandra Żakiewicz, Katarzyna Drelich
Monostatos – Łukasz Wroński, Piotr Maciejowski
I Lady – Sylwia Krzysiek, Marzanna Rudnicka
II Lady – Dominika Kościelniak, Joanna Lalek
III Lady – Małgorzata Kustosik, Katarzyna Nowosad
I Boy – Ewelina Osowska
II Boy – Tomasz Raczkiewicz
III Boy – Jan Jakub Monowid
I Priest – Tomasz Grygo
II Priest – Grzegorz Żołyniak, Piotr Pieron
Music director: Marcin Sompoliński
Ancient Instruments Ensemble of Warsaw Chamber Opera: Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense.
Chorus Master: Krzysztof Kusiel-Moroz
Conductor Assistant: Kuba Wnuk
Multimedia and graphic: Sylwester Siejna
Director Assistant: Jolanta Denejko
Stage Manager: Teresa Krasnodębska
The Magic Flute is considered one of the most outstanding Mozart stage masterpieces. The opera was created in the year of Mozart’s death, however its scenic life continues to last from the end of the 18th century. Its popularity dominated even such masterpieces as The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni.
Therefore, what is so magical about this special piece? Is it the masonic symbolism contained in a somewhat exuberant libretto or perhaps a particularly fantastic vision of the unreal world that is everywhere and nowhere? The director’s vision of Giovanni Castellani goes towards the second interpretation, since he tries to exploit the entire potential of absolute fantasy and the most brilliant music masterfully incorporated into this bizarre libretto.
Mozart surprises here with a variety of forms: choirs, arias, coloratura, songs, great ensembles and finals. The composer also shows a unique catalogue of characters, some of which are balancing on the line between semi-buffs (Papageno, Papagena, Monostatos), and others are directly taken from the opera series (Queen of the Night – evil witch, Sarastro – good priest, Pamina and Tamino – couple lovers, choirs of priests). There are also completely new elements unknown from previous operatic conventions – Armoured Men, Three Boys, Three Ladies. Mozart have given a special musical aura to all those individuals, and each character has its own unique features of musical language. The set design by Olbiński describes this oneiric-surrealist world literally full of fantasies, associations and allusions, but at the same time friendly to the viewer. Marcin Łobacz’s costumes enhance the animal-fairy associations, giving the whole a unique aesthetic dimension.
The new staging of The Magic Flute is an extension of the theatre tradition of the Warsaw Chamber Opera, its creative continuation with the simultaneous application of new possibilities offered by today’s technology.
Prince Tamino tries to escape from the big serpent. Suddenly, when calling for help, he loses consciousness. Then, Three Ladies of the Queen of the Night appear, they kill the snake and admire the unconscious young man. After waking up, Prince meets a strange individual dressed in birds’ feathers, whose name is Papageno. He explains Tamino, that he is a bird-catcher and works for the Queen of the Night and that he is the one, who killed the serpent. Three Ladies pronounce him a liar and put a padlock over his mouth as punishment. Ladies give Prince a portrait of the beautiful Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Tamino cannot hide his fascination with the young girl. The Queen of the Night appears among thunders. Devastated, she begs Tamino to free her daughter from the hands of the demon Sarastro. Ladies want Papageno to help Prince in this mission. Tamino gets the magic flute in the gift, and Papageno is given the magic bells. They both are about to take the path indicated by the Three Genius. Sarastro’s palace. Apparently, Pamina tried to escape from her persecutors, but she was captured by the black Monostatos, Sarastro’s chief of the slaves. Monostatos encounters Papageno, who manager to slip into the palace. The bird-catcher tells Pamina about the Prince who will come and rescue her. Tamino stands in front of the entrance to three temples: Wisdom, Reason and Nature. He tries to enter the temple. He learns from the priest that Sarastro knew well what he was doing by kidnapping Pamina. Tamino plays on the magic flute, trying its power: wild animals become gentle like lambs. Monostatos along with his men grabs Pamina and Papageno. However, the sound of magic bells makes the assassins dancing and they disappear. Sarastro is coming with his retinue. Pamina falls on her knees in front of him. Sarastro, however, is not a demon, as the Queen of the Night represented him, but a benevolent high priest of the temple of the Sun. Monostatos ushers Tamino into his presence. He is punished for this, and the Prince learns that in order to get Pamina, he must overcome a series of adversities. The choir proclaims the wisdom of the high priest.
March of the priests. Sarastro offers priests to fight the Queen of the Night, uniting Tamino with Pamina. Priests praise Tamino. They take Tamino and Papageno into the trials. Papageno lingers, but is given a promise that he will win a future wife. The first trial is silence. The Queen of the Night appears to her daughter Pamina. Sarastro comforts desperate Pamina. The priests leave Tamino and Papageno in an isolated place, where they suffer hunger and thirst, that truly bother them. Tamino keeps silent while Papageno is chatting with an old woman in rags who claims to be Papageno. Thunder and lightning disciplines Papageno to be silent. The Three Genius bring drinking and food to young people. Pamina appears and tries to talk to the Prince who does not answer her. The unhappy girl suspects that Tamino does not love her anymore. The priests lead the young people further. Sarastro announces to the Prince that he must now undergo the test of parting. Papageno tries to get out of the palace. The priest disciplines him and asks him if he has any wish. Papageno asks for wine. The old woman appears and forces the pledge of allegiance to Papageno, then throws off the rags and … Papageno discovers the beautiful and young Papagena. He wants to embrace her, but the priest appears and takes the girl away. The bird-catcher curses his fate. Pamina is devastated as she believes, that she lost Tamino’s love and wants to stab herself with a dagger. Three Genius save her and reassure her of Tamino’s love. There are fire and water tests awaiting for Tamino. The Prince, owing to Pamina’s help, pass the trials, since they are both protected by the music of the magic flute. Papageno is looking for his Papagena in vain. Desperate, he wants to commit a suicide, but the Three Geniuses remind him of the power of magic bells. Then, Papagena appears at their sound. Happy couple plan their future and dream of the many children they will have together. The traitor Monostatos, along with the Queen of the Night and Three Ladies, try to break into the Temple under the cover of the night. Sarastro is standing at the altar, Tamino and Pamina in front of him and priests on both sides. The Three Genius are holding flowers. Sarastro preaches: The rays of the sun triumph over the night. Choir: Glory to the privy!