• Mozart
  • May 2019
  • Wexford, Limerick, Dublin

The Magic Flute

Mozart’s enchanting final opera. His most popular stage work. A timeless moral tale in a world of clashing cultures.

Sung in German with English surtitles

Approximate Duration: 3hrs with 1 interval

Trials of courage and love. A journey that encounters serpents and magic interventions.

The dark realm of the vocally virtuosic Queen of the Night struggles against the judgement and reason of Sarastro, high priest of Isis and Osiris. In between, a separated couple cope with trials and rituals, and Papageno, a humble birdcatcher, searches for a wife.

“A joy from start to finish, lavish, elegant, full of sly spirit and yearning passion, and quite splendidly cast, mostly with Irish singers” - The Sunday Independent



Cast & Creative


Pamina (May 17, 19, 21, 23 matinée, 24, 25) Anna Devin
Pamina (May 22, 23, 25 matinée) Jennifer Davis
Tamino (May 17, 19, 21, 23 matinée, 24, 25) Nick Pritchard
Tamino (May 22, 23, 25 matinée) Tyler Nelson
Papageno Gavan Ring
Queen of the Night (May 17, 23 matinée, 24, 25) Kim Sheehan
Queen of the Night (May 19, 21, 22, 23, 25 matinée) Audrey Luna
Sarastro Lukas Jakobski
First Lady Rachel Croash
Second Lady Sarah Richmond
Third Lady Raphaela Mangan
Monostatos Andrew Gavin
Papagena Amy Ní Fhearraigh
Speaker Padraic Rowan
First Armed Man Fearghal Curtis
Second Armed Man Robert McAllister
First Priest Matthew Mannion
Second Priest Peter O'Reilly

Creative Team

Conductor Peter Whelan
Director Caroline Staunton
Set & Lighting Designer Ciaran Bagnall
Costume Designer Katie Davenport
Chorus Director Sinead Hayes
Assistant Director Sarah Baxter
Irish National Opera Chorus
Irish Chamber Orchestra


Quests are rarely as simple as they seem. In The Magic Flute Tamino is shown a likeness of Pamina and falls for her straight away. But she has been abducted, and rescuing her with the help of the bird catcher Papageno, a new acquaintance, won’t be easy. Tamino and Pamina have to deal with the power of the temple priests of Sarastro, the kidnapper, who is an enemy of Pamina’s mother, the Queen of the Night. The young couple are put through a series of trials. Sometimes white seems black and black seems white. But everyone finds a partner in the end.

Act I

A Forest Tamino is in panic, lost, and collapses. Three passing ladies, responding to his cries for help, command the evil to disperse. They are fascinated by the unconscious stranger and an idea occurs to them. This young man could be the hero who will save Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night, who has been abducted by Sarastro, the ruler of these lands. They leave to tell the good news to the Queen. Tamino wakes up, but doesn’t remember much about how he came to be in this unfamiliar place. Papageno, a passing bird-catcher, is interrogated by Tamino, but Papageno doesn’t know much about anything outside of the forest. The three ladies return and present Tamino with a portrait of Pamina. He immediately falls in love with the enchantingly beautiful girl and is dismayed to hear of her abduction. The Queen of the Night, who is in helpless despair at her daughter’s disappearance, urges Tamino to rescue her. Tamino willingly agrees. He receives a magic flute to assist him in his mission, and Papageno, who will accompany him, gets a glockenspiel. Three young boys who know the way are assigned to lead Tamino and Papageno to Sarastro’s temple.

Sarastro’s Temple Pamina is being held captive, and has aroused the special interest of Monostatos, one of Sarastro’s slaves. Papageno, who has become separated from Tamino and the three boys, frightens off Monostatos, and tells Pamina of the rescue mission. She is at first unsure if she should trust the peculiar bird-man. But they both reveal a desire for love and companionship, and they decide to risk an escape together. Tamino, meanwhile, has been led to the large entrance hall of Sarastro’s Temple. He is disarmed by the appearance of a sophisticated society which prizes wisdom, intellect and reason. A Speaker appears, enquiring about the nature of Tamino’s mission. Tamino is confused to learn that the tyrant who abducted Pamina is also responsible for a society with such noble values. The Speaker assures him his confusion will end when he enters the Temple in the spirit of friendship. The flute sounds and Papageno’s pipes answer. Tamino is filled with new hope that he will find Pamina. Pamina and Papageno are in high spirits as they try to escape but Monostatos tries to have them recaptured by slaves. Papageno reaches for his glockenspiel and the melody has a magic effect on the slaves. But Pamina and Pagageno are not yet free – Sarastro appears with his full complement in tow. Pamina bravely speaks the truth to Sarastro, that she wished to flee from him and return to her mother. Monostatos has meanwhile captured Tamino, but Sarastro is interested in Tamino and orders Monastatos to be punished. Pamina and Tamino, after only the briefest of encounters, are separated. Tamino and Papageno are to undergo trials to test their worthiness to join the society of Sarastro’s Temple.

Act II

Sarastro’s Temple Sarastro and his cohorts debate Tamino’s potential worthiness. He invokes the Egyptian Gods Isis and Osiris to bless the eventual union of Tamino and Pamina, should he succeed. The first aspect of the trial is to remain silent, and Tamino is willing to stay mute. Papageno however is not interested in Sarastro’s offer, not even when promised a girlfriend cut exactly from the same cloth as himself. The three ladies appear but Tamino refuses to speak with them. Monostatos reflects on his unfair treatment and on his feelings for Pamina. He is about to steal a kiss, when the Queen of the Night appears and demands that Pamina kill Sarastro. Pamina is horrified. Monostatos tries to use the situation to his advantage: if Pamina will love him, he will protect her. Sarastro, however, has heard everything. He banishes Monostatos and reassures Pamina of the sanctity of his Temple. Tamino honours his pledge of silence, but Papageno complains of his thirst. He is given a glass of wine by a stranger who, before disappearing, claims to have a boyfriend called Papageno. The three boys appear and give Tamino and Papageno back their flute and glockenspiel. The flute sounds, and Pamina responds, relieved to find Tamino. But when he continues to obey his vow of silence and will not speak to her, she is bereft and believes he no longer loves her. The Temple Priests celebrate their order, and prepare for Tamino’s final trials. Sarastro brings Tamino and Pamina together and tells them to make their final farewell. Papageno reflects on his lonely existence. The stranger appears again, and tells him he needs to trust her or he will forever be imprisoned. Papageno promises to love her faithfully but they are again separated, as the Priests tell Papageno he is not yet worthy. Pamina meanwhile has been driven to despair. She holds the knife given to her by her mother for Sarastro, but the three boys restrain her and reassure her of Tamino’s love. The final trials are ready and, in front of Sarastro and the full assembly of Priests, Tamino declares he is ready to be tested. Pamina bursts in and insists she undergo the trials by Tamino’s side. They survive the trials by fire and water, and are invited to enter the Temple.

A Forest Now Papageno is in despair. He cannot find his Papagena, nor can he imagine life without her. The three boys appear and remind him of his glockenspiel, whose chimes summon Papagena. The two celebrate their love and future happiness. Monostatos, the Queen of the Night and the three ladies, are preparing a final desperate assault on Sarastro’s Temple. This is foiled as Sarastro appears, and the sunrise banishes all darkness. The final chorus hails perseverance, beauty and wisdom.

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