Die Zauberflöte - Glyndebourne Festival

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2h 50
Spanish , English

One of Mozart’s most enchanting works, Die Zauberflöte is a fairy tale that uses familiar archetypes to ask provocative and difficult questions about religion, the nature of power, the bonds of family, and of course love. Premiered just months before Mozart’s death, Die Zauberflöte in many ways represents a new departure for the composer. Catching the spirit of revolution in the air, Mozart turned his attention for the first time from court opera to popular opera, writing this singspiel (‘sung-play’) for a new and much broader audience.


Celebrated Canadian directing duo Barbe & Doucet make both their British and Glyndebourne debuts here with their new Die Zauberflöte, a veritable “theatrical feast of eccentricity.” (The Guardian). Ryan Wigglesworth conducts an outstanding cast including Russian soprano Sofia Fomina as Pamina, David Portillo as her beloved Tamino, Brindley Sherratt as Sarastro, and the ebullient Björn Bürger as Papageno.


Con la colaboración de Naxos

Singspiel in two acts


Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder

Premiered at the Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna, on September 30, 1791

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

The Glyndebourne Chorus


Artistic team

Conductor | Ryan Wigglesworth

Directors and designer | Barbe & Doucet

Puppet designer and puppet coach | Patrick Martel

Lighting designer | Guy Simard



Tamino | David Portillo

Pamina | Sofia Fomina

Sarastro | Brindley Sherratt

Queen of the Night | Caroline Wettergreen

Papageno | Björn Bürger

Monostatos | Jörg Schneider

Papagena | Alison Rose

Speaker | Michael Kraus


Teatro Real
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sylvain Cambreling, Michael Haneke

World Opera Day | Register and enjoy this title for free on Sunday October 24.


The flexibility and mobility of the staging created by the Austrian film director contrasts with the frosty atmosphere to emphasise the humanity of the characters that progress from naïve feelings to a whirlwind of situations which put their emotions to the test. Love can seriously damage the health of these two pairs of lovers, who are manipulated by the Machiavellian Don Alfonso and Despina –an odd couple working together to break up the relationships. The new staging concept delivers the recitative passages in a new way, giving the scenes more intensity and reaching a different and more ambiguous denouement in this new reading of the story. Simply magnificent and certainly cutting-edge!

Teatro Real
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Víctor Pablo Pérez, Lluis Pasqual

Set in 1940s Spain, this production by Lluis Pasqual for the Teatro Real, with sets by Ezio Frigerio and costumes by Franca Squarciapino, has an illustrious cast, headed by the Malaga-born baritone Carlos Álvarez in the leading role. Sonia Ganassi as Donna Elvira, the splendid María Bayo in the difficult role of Donna Ana, and José Bros as Don Ottavio, a role for which he was awarded the 2006 Teatro Campoamor prize for Best Opera Singer, complete the starry line-up in this staging of this Mozart and Da Ponte opera. Directed by the masterly Victor Pablo Pérez, it was recorded in high definition in the Teatro Real’s 2005-2006 season.

Teatro Real
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ivor Bolton, Claus Guth

Mozart had just turned 16 in March 1771 when he was commissioned to write Lucio Silla. A year and a half later he had written all the recitatives and had travelled to Milan, where he would work on the music for the arias and begin rehearsals. His third opera was first performed at the Teatro Regio Ducal in December 1772, with a cast including some of the best voices of the moment. It was just as well: the notoriously difficult score can only be tackled by singers with a solid command of vocal technique.


The libretto, which just two years later would be used by Johann Christian Bach for his own opera, follows the typical format of 18th century European opera seria, and proposes magnanimity as the moral value which is central to the plot. Silla, the dictator of Rome, based on the historic figure Sulla, plans to use his political power to win the woman he loves, Giunia, the daughter of his enemy. However, she loves Cecilio, a senator exiled for political reasons. Silla’s initial intention gradually falls away and is replaced by compassion, leading him to make way for love, and even to give up power. The opera shows us that virtuous decisions are always the right ones.


*Title available only in non-EU countries, with the exception of Spain

Teatro Real
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ivor Bolton, Robert Carsen

After ten years of Trojan War, Idomeneo finally returns home victorious. Some of his troops have already returned and brought with them Trojan prisoners, including Ilia, daughter of the late King Priam. Upon his return from the war, Agamemnon, another victorious Greek king, is killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Egisto. Elettra's brother Orestes has avenged her father's death by killing both her mother and her lover. Elettra, an orphan like Ilia, has taken refuge in Crete, where she has fallen in love with Idomeneo's son, Idamante, who has been ruling in the absence of his father.

Teatro del Bicentenario
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Emmanuel Siffert, Eugenio Zanetti

Trying to escape from a monster, Prince Tamino enters the territory of the Queen of the Night. During his fight with the monster, he falls unconscious. Three Ladies of the queen's court kill the monster with their magic and finally save the prince. Upon awakening, the prince sees the dead monster and, next to him, finds Papageno, a bird hunter in the service of the queen, who claims to be Taminos’ savior. Papageno takes credit for defeating the monster. Enraged with Papageno for his lie, the Queen of the Night orders her Three Ladies to punish him by placing a gold padlock on his mouth. After meeting Prince Tamino, the Queen of the Night asks him to rescue her beautiful daughter Pamina, who is kept captive by the evil King Sarastro. The noble Tamino accepts the challenge. He undertakes the crusade with Papageno, who agrees to go with him on the mission in order to be forgiven and released from his punishment. The Queen of the Night gives Tamino an invaluable magical object, a magic flute that has the power to change the state of every living beings.


Pamina finds herself captive in the palace of King Sarastro, and is stalked by Monostatos, a servant of the king and vile suitor of her love. Sarastro discovers how bad Monostatos treats Pamina and decides to exile him.Tamino falls in love with the Princess and asks Sarastro for Pamina’s hand. The King and his priests discuss whether to accept or not the initiation of Tamino and Papageno. Everyone accepts the proposal, but they require both to achieve virtue by passing three tests. Three wise kids impose them the test of silence, and lead Tamino to a forest where there are temples dedicated to Wisdom, Reason and Nature. Once there, a Priest explains Tamino that Sarastro is a noble and wise person. The solemn and moving atmosphere awakens in Tamino the desire for knowledge. Upon passing the imposed tests, Tamino understands that Sarastro has retained Pamina to protect her from her heartless mother and thus obtains the grace of the monarch. Papageno, for the help provided, gets an almost divine luck: he finds Papagena with whom he can share his life.


Besides that, Sarastro defeats the Queen of the Night, since good always triumphs over evil and light makes darkness disappear.

Teatro Real
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Jesús López Cobos, Emilio Sagi

It is not a question of divine inspiration, the truth is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart put considerable effort into looking for a suitable subject before composing The Marriage of Figaro. Another misconception is that this work reflects the values of the French Revolution, when in fact its underlying theme is a celebration of the “Ehepatent”, the new decree on marriage issued by Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1783. This decree contained three principles that fascinated Mozart: marriage should be for love; the authorisation of the parents was no longer required; and there should be witnesses to the marriage, leading to the hilarious scene in the opera where Figaro is measuring a room which is scarcely big enough for the bed, when a chorus of twenty people suddenly appears, all of them witnesses. Both Mozart and Da Ponte were aware of the importance of such an edict as part of the modernisation of society, but they also knew that the human impulses are difficult to tame, so that compliance with the new law would be problematic.


The impossibility of human beings reaching utopia often leads to melancholy. Melancholy is present in this opera because all the characters end up losing something: the Countess - love; the Count - power; Figaro - his agility; Cherubino - his innocence; and Barbarina - her virginity. These fine threads weave a complex story and finally depict a humanity worthy of Beethoven: forgiveness is achieved due to the inner  strength of women, as in the leading women of an Almodóvar film.


The way Mozart handles the ensembles in this opera, the purification of Italian melody, and the refinement of German symphony all make The Marriage of Figaro one of the greatest masterpieces in the entire history of the genre, together with L’incoronazione di Poppea, Tristan und Isolde, Falstaff and Wozzeck.

Teatro Real
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ivor Bolton, Teatro Real Orchestra

The events held throughout 2014 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco reached a zenith on September 20 with a performance of the Requiem which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began composing shortly before his death.


Ivor Bolton conducted the Madrid opera house’s own orchestra and chorus in the central nave of Toledo’s cathedral in a performance of this work that was left unfinished by the genius of Salzburg and completed by his disciple Franz Xaver Süssmayr. Count Franz Von Walsegg commissioned the requiem for his wife’s funeral, but Mozart believed that a trick of destiny had led him to compose the music which would be played at his own funeral.


The Toledo Cathedral was the perfect setting for a meeting of music, painting and architecture.


Glyndebourne Festival
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Björn Bürger


Join Björn Bürger for an exclusive look behind the scenes of the Die Zauberflöte in Glyndebourne.