Mozart and Schikaneder’s “big opera” The Magic Flute, first performed in 1791 at the Theater auf der Wieden, is an attempt to overcome the duality of man and woman, black and white, rich and poor, and good and evil that has split humanity since time immemorial, using extraordinary music and a brilliant, daring libretto that strikes a balance between street theatre and world theatre and, in a utopian global fairy tale, tries to find a way for all people to live together in harmony as human beings.
The King of the Day is dying. To his wife, the Queen of the Night, and his daughter Pamina he bequeaths his entire possessions with the exception of every form of power he deems “incomprehensible to the mind of woman”. He appoints his friend Sarastro as the new ruler. The latter accepts this position and takes Pamina away into his realm which only men are permitted to enter. Is she in the clutches of an evil sect leader or does the guise of power-crazed monster actually hide a philosophical Utopian? Tamino, a young prince from foreign shores, loses his way on a journey to the realm of the grieving Queen of the Night who has surrounded herself with a host of virgins. The women observe him, and the Queen chooses him to go and rescue her daughter. Tamino falls in love with the image he has of Pamina and sets out on the fantastic journey to liberate her. He is accompanied by Papageno, a simple fellow who loves his life and people. Three boys show them the way to Sarastro’s realm. As Tamino is trying unsuccessfully to rescue the fleeing Pamina, the two of them fall in love with each other and a period of life-and-death trials begins. A long road for two people destined to love each other until they can save the world together.