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  • Foto: Arno Declair

Sat, Dec. 21, 2024, 7.00 pm - 10.00 pm | Main Stage

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

This opera is the world in a theatrical nutshell: it deals with growing older, with trials and tribulations, with intransparent decisions. One person searches for individuality, another is too lazy to do so. Others postulate that the community is the only adequate place for the individual. Power has either been legitimised by long tradition or usurped by new regimes. Values such as assimilation and loyalty are set against self-assertiveness and independence. There is loving and dreaming, cheating and trusting. Suicides are prevented, tests passed, adventures survived. Who is right? Who has been wronged? The world of the magic flute is opaque, and everyone is looking for a pathway: within it, into it or out of it. Who holds the reigns? Who can be trusted? Could it be music?

Director: Jette Steckel
Set Designer: Florian Lösche
Costume Designer: Pauline Hüners
Dramaturgy: Johannes Blum, Carl Hegemann
Video: EINS[23].TV (Alexander Bunge)
Lighting Design: Paulus Vogt

Premiere: 23.9.2016

Please note that stroboscope effects and partly very bright lights are being used.

In German with German and English surtitles
Supported by the Foundation for the Support of the Hamburg State Opera

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Tamino and Papageno have known each other since childhood. Despite not having parents, Tamino, grows up in a protected environment, whereas Papageno has to battle his way through life working occasionally. Although they are so different, they soon become close friends. Tamino falls in love, but only with a picture of his beloved, because the girl has been kidnapped. Tamino accepts the challenge. Three ladies explain that the kidnapper is a man with a dubious nature named Sarastro, living in a well-guarded building with his people. Three small boys have the task to intervene in emergency situations and two objects with secret powers are given to Tamino and Papageno. The rescue expedition begins.
Papageno and Tamino separate, just before they arrive at Sarastro’s. While Tamino wants to enter through the official front entrance, Papageno sets foot in the building through a side door and finds Monostatos, one of Sarastro’s security employees, holding Pamina captive and torturing her sadistically. Papageno manages to talk to her and he tells her about his plan to free her and about Tamino. They both manage to escape.

Tamino realizes that the opponent he faces is very powerful. He has left his well-protected world behind and the unknown lies ahead so he needs to act prudently. He takes courage from the certainty of his love for Pamina and decides to implement his plans.
Sarastro’s chief of command questions Tamino about his intentions regarding Sarastro. Tamino tells him what he thinks of Sarastro: He is a tyrant holding a girl captive. He is told that despite being right about the girl he has been given blatantly false information and is not allowed through.

Tamino and Papageno find each other in the dark. Pamina and Tamino see each other for the first time. A feeling of warmth and confidence fills all three of them, but they are being followed by Monostatos. He calls his people to catch the fleeing threesome. Papageno, however, activates one of the secret objects releasing a sound that instantly eliminates the attackers.
At that moment, Sarastro appears with great “Pomp”. It is not Tamino who makes a sound, but it is Pamina who finds the courage to speak. She tells him about her escape and about her reason to do so: Monostatos’ harassment. Sarastro punishes him and promises Pamina that one day she will be grateful for his well-meaning abduction. He assures Pamina and Tamino that things are not the way they seem.

Tamino and Papageno are expected to undergo a safety-check. Women are to be treated with care and restraint. Suddenly there is darkness, no path, no more information, until three ladies (not unlike Tamino’s guardians) appear. Can they be trusted? The warning about “women’s malice” was clear. Tamino declares their words of caution are lies. It remains unclear, whether the ladies are acting on the orders of the mother or if this is their test of fortitude.
Monostatos takes revenge on Pamina for being punished by Sarastro. He tries to rape her but Pamina fights back. The sound of her mother’s oath of revenge rises within her, a memory from her childhood. Sarastro and her mother had known each other, but had fallen out because of unclear ownership issues that arose when Sarastro claimed the right to raise Pamina. Sarastro's voice calms Pamina; revenge is not an option whilst under his protection, good must prevail.

Tamino and Papageno find themselves alone and their path becomes increasingly bleak. Suddenly the three boys appear. They urge them to not say a single word to anyone. Time goes by. Then Pamina. She does not understand why no one speaks to her. Tamino freezes, Papageno is obviously embarrassed by the situation. They cannot explain why they are silent.
Sarastro explains that Pamina needs to say farewell, but that she will happily see Tamino again after he has passed his last test. Pamina is so discouraged, lonely and full of despair, that she can only expect the worst for Tamino, death. Tamino follows Sarastro’s orders undeterred, not finding any soothing words for Pamina.

The path seems to also be coming to an end for Papageno, he must stop accompanying Tamino. He meets a girl and approaches her but ruins his chances immediately by trying to kiss her.

Pamina has lost all faith and no longer wants to live, but something brings her back. She cannot believe that Tamino does not love her. She knows that. She felt his love and for everything else, there will be an explanation. She finds him on the threshold of the final task and against all odds, they proceed side by side. At that moment they realize that the path they have taken has been for a purpose, even at times of separation: At that moment, they pass it. The task of their life.

Papageno has lost his will to live, but he too hears a voice from within: Life still has something to offer. And there is Papagena.
The thread of life winds on, new relationships develop, children are born, and fate follows its path. In the end, at the end of the opera, all the forces and powers experienced by the people, present themselves in all of their glory and horror. One person however, sits in the front row and watches this final great scene as if it was his own life being played out on the stage.

Translation: Adrian Leisewitz


Venue: Main Stage, Dammtorstraße 28, 20354 Hamburg
Prices: 7,00 EUR to 137,00 EUR

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