Die Zauberflöte (Schinkel)
It is one of the classics in the Staatsoper’s repertoire: August Everding’s production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s »The Magic Flute«. The production is unique for its reconstruction of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s 1816 set design for what was then the Berlin Court Opera on Unter den Linden – including the legendary starry sky for the Queen of the Night, which has become an icon of scenography and continues to enchant audiences. However, director Everding’s production was no museum piece: he brought to life the world portrayed on stage – which was based on almost two-hundred-year-old designs – through a timeless, spirited staging, which premiered at the Staatsoper in 1994, but remains every bit as witty and humorous today. Prince Tamino is saved from a giant serpent at the last minute by the three ladies of the Queen of the Night. The ladies then show him a picture of the queen’s daughter, Pamina, and he immediately falls in love with her. Together with the happy-go-lucky bird-catcher Papageno, he sets off on a journey to find his love, who is – as he discovers – being held captive by the sun priest Sarastro. In order to prove themselves worthy of the women they love, Tamino and Papageno must pass various difficult trials.
The usual practice for operatic repertoires is to replace an older production with a new one. But that will not happen with the Everding production, which is so important in sustaining the repertoire. Alongside the new production of »The Magic Flute« by Yuval Sharon, the Everding production will continue to enrich the Staatsoper’s repertoire. The direct comparison offered by two productions of the same work invites audiences to observe the opera from two different perspectives.