The magic flute
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder • Nov. 6, 9, 12, 14, 2021
Mozart’s final and most-celebrated opera is the mystical adventure The Magic Flute.
Young Prince Tamino embarks on a hero’s quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Pamina from Sarastro’s clutches. Along the way, he learns that things aren’t always as they seem. Aided by a magic flute, and accompanied by his trusty sidekick Papageno the bird catcher, Tamino pursues truth and reason, love and enlightenment.
Full of beautiful melodies and enchanting characters, this timeless tale of light battling darkness will delight adults and children alike.
Antony Walker conducts. Dan Rigazzi directs.
David Portillo: Tamino
Kathryn Bowden+: Queen of the Night
Adelaide Boedecker**: Pamina
Véronique Filloux*: Papagena
Benjamin Taylor**: Papageno
Madeline Ehlinger*: First Lady
Corrie Stallings**: Second Lady
Maire Therese Carmack*: Third Lady
Tom McNichols+: Sarastro
Rodell Rosel: Monostatos
Jeremy Harr*: Speaker
Yazid Gray*: Second Priest
Andrew Turner*: First Priest/First Armored Man
Brian Kontes: Second Armored Man
Zoe Chessa+: First Spirit
Helen Peppler+: Second Spirit
Abigail Cunningham+: Third Spirit
The Artistic Team
Conductor - Antony Walker
Stage Director - Dan Rigazzi
Stage Manager- Cindy Knight
Asst Stage Manager- Alex W. Seidel
Asst Stage Manager- Hannah Nathan+
Scenic Designer - John Pollard
Costume Designer - Leslie Bernstein
Projection Designer - Doug Provost
Lighting Designer - Andrew Ostrowski
Wig and Make-up Designer - James Geier
Head of Music/Assistant Conductor - Glenn Lewis
Chorus Master - Mark Trawka
Associate Coach/Pianist - James Lesniak
Asst Stage Director - Kaley Karis Smith*
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Sung in English with English texts projected above the stage
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
Listen to Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn give a brief synopsis of The Magic Flute featuring excerpts from Pittsburgh Opera's 2013 production with Antony Walker conducting the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra.
Click play below or download these excerpts for an offline treat!
- Overture - performed by the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra
- "The birdcatcher am I" - sung by Craig Verm as the bird catcher Papageno
- “This image is enchantingly beautiful" - sung by Sean Panikkar as Tamino
- "Swift steps, ready courage" - sung by Layla Claire as Pamina and Craig Verm as Papageno
- "Long live Sarastro!" sung by the Pittsburgh Opera Chorus
- "All feels the joys of love"- sung by Daniel Curran as Monostatos
- “Hell's vengeance boils in my heart" - sung by Audrey Luna as the Queen of the Night
- “Ah, I feel it, it is vanished" - performed by Layla Claire as Pamina
- "A girl or a woman" - sung by Craig Verm as Papageno
- "Pa... pa... pa..." - sung by Craig Verm as Papageno and Meredith Lustig as Papagena
- Final Chorus - performed by the Pittsburgh Opera Chorus
The story, in brief
The Magic Flute takes place in a mythical land between the sun and the moon.
Three ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night save Prince Tamino from a serpent. When they leave to tell the queen, the birdcatcher Papageno appears. He boasts to Tamino that it was he who killed the creature. The ladies return to give Tamino a portrait of the queen’s daughter, Pamina, who they say has been enslaved by the evil Sarastro. Tamino immediately falls in love with the girl’s picture. The queen, appearing in a burst of thunder, tells Tamino about the loss of her daughter and commands him to rescue her. The ladies give a magic flute to Tamino and silver bells to Papageno to ensure their safety on the journey and appoint three spirits to guide them.
Sarastro’s slave Monostatos pursues Pamina but is frightened away by Papageno. The birdcatcher tells Pamina that Tamino loves her and is on his way to save her. Led by the three spirits to the temple of Sarastro, Tamino learns from a high priest that it is the Queen, not Sarastro, who is evil. Hearing that Pamina is safe, Tamino charms the wild animals with his flute, then rushes off to follow the sound of Papageno’s pipes. Monostatos and his men chase Papageno and Pamina but are left helpless when Papageno plays his magic bells. Sarastro enters in great ceremony. He punishes Monostatos and promises Pamina that he will eventually set her free. Pamina catches a glimpse of Tamino, who is led into the temple with Papageno.
Sarastro tells the priests that Tamino will undergo initiation rites. Monostatos tries to kiss the sleeping Pamina but is surprised by the appearance of the Queen of the Night. The Queen gives her daughter a dagger and orders her to murder Sarastro.
Sarastro finds the desperate Pamina and consoles her, explaining that he is not interested in vengeance. Tamino and Papageno are told by a priest that they must remain silent and are not allowed to eat, a vow that Papageno immediately breaks when he takes a glass of water from a flirtatious old lady. When he asks her name, the old lady vanishes. The three spirits appear to guide Tamino through the rest of his journey and to tell Papageno to be quiet. Tamino remains silent even when Pamina appears. Misunderstanding his vow for coldness, she is heartbroken.
The priests inform Tamino that he has only two more trials to complete his initiation. Papageno, who has given up on entering the brotherhood, longs for a wife instead. He eventually settles for the old lady. When he promises to be faithful, she turns into a beautiful young Papagena, but immediately disappears.
Pamina and Tamino are reunited and face the ordeals of water and fire together, protected by the magic flute.
Papageno tries to poison himself but is saved by the three spirits, who remind him that if he uses his magic bells he will find true happiness. When he plays the bells, Papagena appears and the two start making family plans.The Queen of the Night, her three ladies, and Monostatos attack the temple but are defeated and banished. Sarastro blesses Pamina and Tamino as all join in hailing the triumph of courage, virtue, and wisdom.
- Adapted from The Metropolitan Opera
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
Here are some details and resources to help. Also visit our Opera FAQs or our Accessibility page.
- Run time: Tentatively ~ 2 hours, 42 minutes including 1 intermission
- Special effects notice: Strobe light effects and dry ice are used in this production
- Understand Every Word: The Magic Flute is sung in English with English supertitles projected above the stage at all performances
- Download the Program Book
- Download the The Magic Flute study guide
- Parking Downtown: get real-time parking availability
- Pre-Opera Talks before each performance
- Audio Description available at The Benedum Center
- Braille Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Large-Print Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Children must be ages 6 and up. Suggestions and tips for bringing children to the opera may be found at pittsburghopera.org/FAQ.
- All children must have a ticket. There is a 50% discount for kids and teens ages 6-18.
- Children 12 and under, who at the time of these performances will be unable to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, must have COVID test results as detailed at pittsburghopera.org/COVID. Guests under 12, and guests younger than 18 without a photo ID, must be accompanied by an adult who meets the requirements at pittsburghopera.org/COVID.
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