Worldwide there are almost 500 productions of The Magic Flute every year. So, the two fundamental questions any director must ask before taking on a show are, ‘why this?’ and ‘why now?’ What is it about The Magic Flute that makes it worthy of spending an evening watching the story unfold before you?
Mozart’s music is undeniably genius. Less certain, however, is Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto, which weaves a convoluted fairytale rich with masonic symbolism where high fantasy is periodically interrupted by characters moralizing, making the story at times nearly impossible to follow.
The Magic Flute has been interpreted in many wild and wonderful ways. However, by finding the humanity in each and every character, we can tap into something much more powerful.
As a pair of female directors, we felt that Pamina’s strength and audacity are at the heart of the story – she is a protagonist with a strong journey and great power, and we’ve tried to highlight the complexity of mother/daughter relationships in this version.
Despite the convoluted and complex narrative, at the opera’s heart are themes of good triumphing over evil, the need for patience, wisdom and love as the ultimate joy. The show is full of hidden gems of brilliant psychological drama waiting to be unearthed. And Tamino and Pamina’s journey into adulthood is reminiscent of that moment when summer holidays end, when the magic of youthful fantasy fades. The allure of this epic exploring universal themes of friendship and love, against a backdrop of mysticism and magic – and with some jokes on the side – is undeniable.
We begin in a seemingly normal seaside setting in the 1960s – a time of change and new possibilities. Our heroes set out across the ocean to Sarastro's abstract world where they face life changing trials. We ask our audience to remember the summers of your childhood, when it felt like anything was possible. When you left the cares of school behind and just by wandering away down the beach you entered a different world. A time when you fought sea monsters, made friends with seals and seagulls, and built sandcastles – only to have them destroyed by the tide. We’d like to welcome you back to that magical realm of childhood, summer and the seaside.