The Magic Flute, 2011
Pamina Sophie Bevan
Tamino Robert Murray
Papageno William Berger
First Lady Rebecca von Lipinski
Second Lady Catherine Hopper
Third Lady Louise Poole
Queen of Night Kim Sheehan
Sarastro Evan Boyer
Speaker Benjamin Bevan
Monostatos Iain Paton
Conductor Martin André
Director Olivia Fuchs
Designer Niki Turner
Garsington Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Tamino is pursued by a monster and collapses in terror before being rescued by Three Ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night. When they leave to tell the Queen, the bird-catcher Papageno discovers the dead monster and claims to have killed it. The Ladies return to give Tamino a portrait of the Queen’s daughter, Pamina, who they say has been enslaved by the evil Sarastro. They padlock Papageno’s mouth as a punishment for lying. Tamino is entranced by the picture of Pamina and, when the Queen appears, promises that he will attempt her rescue. The Ladies give Tamino a magic flute and Papageno a set of magic bells and tell them that they will be guided by Three Boys.
Pamina is being threatened by Sarastro’s servant, Monostatos. however, Papageno’s unexpected arrival frightens him away and Papageno tells Pamina that Tamino is on his way to save her. Led by the Three Boys to Sarastro’s temple Tamino is confused to be told by a priest that it is the Queen of the Night who is evil, not Sarastro. Charming the fierce creatures that surround him by playing his magic flute, he goes in search of Pamina. Monostatos and his followers catch Papageno and Pamina as they try to escape but are disarmed by the sound of his magic bells. Sarastro promises Pamina that she will eventually be free and punishes Monostatos. When Pamina and Tamino finally meet, they are immediately separated. Papageno and Tamino are led into the temple.
Sarastro and his followers decide that Tamino will undergo initiation rites before joining their brotherhood. Monostatos attempts to rape the sleeping Pamina but is discovered by the Queen of the Night. She gives her daughter a knife and orders her to kill Sarastro.
As part of their trials, Tamino and Papageno are told that they must remain silent and refrain from eating. Papageno is unable to meet these conditions and immediately starts to flirt with an old woman who vanishes when he asks her name. The Three Boys come to guide Tamino through the rest of his journey and urge Papageno to keep quiet. When Pamina appears, Tamino keeps his vow and remains silent, causing her to despair.
Tamino only has two more trials to complete. Papageno longs for a wife and in the absence of anyone else agrees to marry the old woman, who immediately turns into his youthful counterpart, Papagena, before disappearing again.
Mad with grief Pamina tries to commit suicide but is saved by the Three Boys who assure her of Tamino’s love for her. Pamina and Tamino are finally united to face the trials of fire and water together with the magic flute as their protection.
Papageno attempts to kill himself but the Three Boys stop him just in time, and remind him of his magic bells. He plays them and, miraculously, Papageno reappears.
The Queen of the Night, with her Three Ladies and Monostatos, attack Sarastro’s stronghold but are defeated. Sarastro joins Pamina and Tamino and all praise the triumph of courage, virtue and wisdom.