German opera in two acts K. 620 (1791)
Libretto: Emanuel Schikaneder
"The Magic Flute" is Mozart’s most popular and beloved opera, and its melodies – from Pagageno’s folkloric tunes to the Queen of the Night’s breathtaking coloraturas – are familiar even among non-listeners of classical music.
From the illustration on the stage curtain to the incredible, wildly coloured, primeval- looking monsters, animals and decorative elements on the stage, the production is dominated by the unmistakable expressive world of the Dutch artist and sculptor Karel Appel. A co-founder of the acclaimed Cobra Group, Appel developed a darky expression-istic idiom and was the "secret dramaturge" of the production, says director Audi. Appel died at the age of 85 three months before the premiere of "Die Zauberflöte" at the Salzburg Festival.
Blending smoothly into Appel’s exotic designs, director Pierre Audi’s production is neither a contemporization nor a deconstruction of Mozart’s last works. Instead, Audi leaves the alleged stylistic breaks and unresolved conflicts between good and evil as they are and seeks to "give them a home", as he puts it. He relates the fairy-tale story of the "Magic Flute" in a sensual and playful, but never childlike or childish way, using Appel’s sets as a component of his vision.
Réne Pape, Sarastro
Paul Groves, Tamino
Genia Kühmeier, Pamina
Christian Gerhaher, Papageno
Irena Bespalovaite, Papagena
Diana Damrau, Queen of the Night
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Riccardo Muti, conductor
Pierre Audi, stage director
Brian Large, video director
Recording dates: 25.07.| 29.07.| 04.08.2006
04.08.2006 live broadcast with timeshift on ORF2
Venue: Großes Festspielhaus