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Tamino in the belly of the dragon, the Queen of the Night as a giant spider, dancing constellations and flying butterfly boys – the fascination which The Magic Flute exerts over audiences both young and old at the Komische Oper Berlin seems endless. And not only in Berlin: over 300,000 people around the world have seen this critically and commercially acclaimed production by the British theatre group “1927” and Barrie Kosky, with its “deliciously absurd blend of silent movie and cartoon” [Berliner Morgenpost]. After performances in Los Angeles, Madrid, Helsinki, Paris, Peking, Tokyo and many other cities around the world, this season it can also be enjoyed in Australia and New Zealand – as well as its home city of Berlin, of course! “A dazzling live-action cartoon far too adorable to offend.” [Los Angeles Times]
"Help! Help! Otherwise I'm lost!" - Tamino's rescue from the menacing giant snake at the very last moment is the start of an adventure-packed journey in an unknown land in search of love. This love initially materialises for Pamino only in a picture: a picture of Pamina. Is this love real? Or must it become real? – Papageno, Tamino's cheeky companion, also pursues the (fantasy) picture of a loving partner at his side, who should if possible be just like him. Is Papagena real or does she ultimately remain just a dream? Like monstrous mother and father figures almost from the world of nightmares, the Queen of the Night and Sarastro vie for influence over Tamino and Pamina. Is the Queen a loving mother or a vengeful adversary? Is Sarastro a selfish despot or a paternal, caring ruler?
The Magic Flute appears to give rise to more questions and mysteries rather than provide answers. At the end the immense fantasy of this magical opera defies all logic and reason. Its secret lies in deeper layers of fundamental human experiences for which the fairytale appears simply to be the most adequate form of expression and only music finds the appropriate language. It is with good reason that the "eponymous hero" of the opera is an instrument, or quite simply: music.