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Prom 51: The Magic Flute

Live at BBC Proms: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Ryan Wigglesworth in Glyndebourne's new production starring David Portillo as Tamino and Sofia Fomina as Pamina.

Live at BBC Proms: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Ryan Wigglesworth in Glyndebourne's new production starring David Portillo as Tamino and Sofia Fomina as Pamina.

Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London
Presented by Donald Macleod

The Magic Flute

2015 pm: Interval between Acts 1 and 2: Proms Plus Talk: Martin Handley talks to musicologists Tim Jones and Nicholas Till about The Magic Flute.

David Portillo Tamino
Sofia Fomina Pamina
Bjorn Burger Papageno
Alison Rose Papagena
Brindley Sherratt Sarastro
Caroline Wettergreen Queen of the Night
Jorg Schneider Monostatos
Esther Dierkes First Lady
Marta Fontanals-Simmons Second Lady
Katharina Magiera Third Lady
Michael Kraus Speaker
Martin Snell First Priest/Second Man in Armour
Thomas Atkins Second Priest/First Man in Armour

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Ryan Wigglesworth conductor

Glyndebourne’s new production of The Magic Flute comes to the Proms in a special semi-staging.

Mozart’s final opera is a beguiling mix of enchantment and Enlightenment politics. A score overflowing with melody and invention and a fairy-tale cast of characters together create one of the composer’s best-loved comedies.

Ryan Wigglesworth conducts an exciting young cast including Sofia Fomina, Björn Bürger and David Portillo.


Act I
Alone in a foreign land, Prince Tamino is attacked by a giant serpent. He faints but, when he comes to, realises that he has been rescued – someone else has killed the monster. Papageno, the Queen of the Night’s bird-catcher, is quick to claim the credit, but is soon corrected by the queen’s three ladies. They give Tamino a portrait of Pamina, the queen’s daughter, who has been abducted by the tyrant Sarastro. Tamino falls instantly in love. The queen herself appears, and promises the Prince her daughter’s hand if he can rescue her. To help him on his quest, the ladies give him a magic flute and three magical spirits to guide him. He sets off, joined by an unwilling Papageno.

Imprisoned in Sarastro’s temple underground, Pamina is at the mercy of the slave Monostatos. But his lecherous plans are interrupted by Papageno, who tells Pamina of Tamino’s love and his quest to rescue her. Arriving at the temple, Tamino is greeted by a priest, who tells him that he has been deceived by the Queen of the Night; all is not as she described. Papageno and Pamina have escaped, but are pursued by Monostatos. Papageno uses his magic bells to enchant their pursuers, but just as they are once again free, they hear Sarastro and his followers approaching. Pamina confesses all and is forgiven, but Sarastro still refuses to release her. Tamino enters, captured by a triumphant Monostatos. He and Pamina meet briefly for the first time before they are both led separately away to prepare for their initiation into Sarastro’s order. Monostatos is punished.

Act II
Sarastro persuades the brotherhood to accept Tamino as a member if he passes the order’s tests of initiation. Tamino and Papageno face the first trial: silence. Papageno fails almost immediately, but Tamino holds firm. The Queen of the Night still seeks revenge, and orders Pamina to kill Sarastro. Monostatos overhears and threatens to expose the plot unless Pamina surrenders to his desires. But Sarastro discovers his scheme, banishes Monostatos and forgives Pamina. Papageno and Tamino are still sworn to silence. Papageno once again fails by talking to an old woman. Tamino plays his magic flute, which summons Pamina to him. She speaks but he cannot reply, forcing her to believe that he no longer loves her. Sarastro orders Pamina and Tamino to bid each other a final farewell – they must now prepare for their trials. Papageno expresses his wish for a wife of his own, and is rewarded by the return of the old lady. But the instant he reluctantly agrees to marry her she is transformed into his perfect Papagena, only to be immediately whisked away by the brotherhood: he is not yet worthy of her.

Convinced Tamino no longer loves her, Pamina prepares to kill herself, but is prevented by the Three Boys, who reassure her of his devotion. Two men in armour help Tamino prepare for his final trials. Free now to speak, he is reunited with Pamina who resolves to undergo the trials of fire and water alongside him. Devastated by the loss of Papagena, Papageno prepares to hang himself. But once again the Three Boys intervene, telling him to use the magic bells to summon her back. The lovers are joyfully reunited.

The Queen of the Night, Monostatos and their allies make one final attempt to overthrow Sarastro but fail. ‘The rays of the sun expel the night and annihilate the power of the hypocrite’ proclaims Sarastro. He welcomes Tamino and Pamina into the brotherhood, as members of the order celebrate a new era of wisdom.

3 hours, 29 minutes

Music Played

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    The Magic Flute - Act 1

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Choir: Glyndebourne Chorus.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    The Magic Flute - Act 2

    Choir: Glyndebourne Chorus. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Sonata no.16 in C major, K.545

    Performer: Marc-André Hamelin.
    • Hyperion.
  • Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

    Concerto à 5 in D minor, Op 9 No 2

    Performer: Maurice André. Orchestra: Rouen Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Albert Beaucamp.
    • Philips.


  • Tue 27 Aug 2019 19:00

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