The cast

Tamino Fobert Felstead
Ladies Tamsin Slatter
Alex Merckx
Susan Moore
Papageno Luke Deacon
Queen of the Night Hannah Dobra
Pamina Rachel Crisp
Sea cadets Cathy Black
Helen Maguire
Clare Kirk
Monostatos Duncan Powell
Senior BluecoatDon Crerar
BluecoatsAnt Goffart
Adrian Slatter
PapagenaLucy Fitt
SarastroJames Mitchell

Together at last: Papagena and Papageno

The Magic Flute: 2019

Stage director Jim Petts, Music director Justin Bindley, Set designer Suzanne Thomson, Costume design Helen Ryan. Performed at Arlington Arts, 21-23 November.

JIM: Nobody really knows what to do with The Magic Flute. It is one of the most popular and regularly performed operas and yet in operatic terms it is quite an oddity, an early singspiel that verges on becoming an operetta or even a musical with its easy listening musical numbers and spoken dialogue. Its solemn Masonic overtones and misogynistic plot contrasted with almost pantomime comedy make it quite difficult to produce without causing offence.

Modern productions have swung from serious scenarios set in dusty Enlightenment libraries, to outer space, or as at Glyndebourne 2019, a posh hotel. No matter: we have decided to go for broke and just enjoy the comedy and pantomime aspects. So here we are in some strange seaside resort where the Lady of the Manor and her coterie of do-gooding ladies are set against the upstart Sarastro and his jolly holiday camp. Into this minefield steps our young friend Terry Tamino in search of a seaside summer break. Instead he finds love, enlightenment and the companionship of a demented zoo-keeper. It's a strange world out there…

JUSTIN: First performed in 1791, the Magic Flute has continued to delight audiences thoughout the centuries. Full of wit, charm and comedy, the music sparkles with a never ending stream of beautiful melodies. Providing so many opportunities for soloists, I thought it was the ideal opera to celebrate our 25th anniversary. When I planned this a year ago, I had no idea that most of the main UK opera companies have been presenting Magic Flute this season so I feel we are in very good company!


The sea cadets, Pamina, Sarastro

More about this production

Photos — the Magic Flute Gallery

Reviews —