Tamino, a prince, is pursued by a serpent and faints. Three Ladies slay the serpent, then exit to report to the Queen of the Night. Waking, Tamino meets Papageno, who allows Tamino believe that he killed the serpent. The Ladies reappear to set the record straight and to show the prince a portrait of the Queen's daughter, Pamina. The Queen herself arrives, describing her daughter's abduction by the evil wizard Sarastro. Inspired, Tamino agrees to rescue Pamina. The Ladies forgive Papageno's lies and present Tamino and Papageno with a magic flute and bells to assist them on their quest.
In Sarastro's realm, Papageno discovers Pamina, who is being held by Monastatos, and explains that Tamino is on his way to rescue her. Outside the temple, Tamino meets the enigmatic Speaker, who questions Tamino's understanding of the situation but finally allows him to enter. Meanwhile, Papageno and Pamina are apprehended by Monastatos, whom they enchant with the bells. When Sarastro appears, Pamina begs him to allow her to return to her mother; Sarastro warns that the Queen is an inappropriate influence. Monastatos enters, having captured Tamino. To Monastatos' surprise, Sarastro orders a beating not for Tamino, but for Monastatos. Sarastro instructs the members of the brotherhood to prepare for the great task ahead.
Intermission (20 minutes)
Sarastro, who presides over the mysterious brotherhood believes that Tamino is the key to the order's revitalization and proposes that he be allowed to undergo the initiatory trials. Tamino readily accepts the challenge; Papageno is reluctant, but eventually agrees. The first trial-keeping silent-immediately proves a struggle for Papageno.
Meanwhile, Monastatos prepares to force himself on Pamina, but flees when the Queen appears. She orders Pamina to kill Sarastro. Monastatos, eavesdropping, returns and threatens blackmail, but Sarastro, overhearing, banishes Monastatos. Sarastro then counsels Pamina that compassion is a better choice than vengeance.
The trial of silence continues: Pamina is brought before Tamino, who steadfastly refuses to respond to her increasingly anguished pleas. Sarastro congratulates Tamino for passing the test, then instructs him to say farewell to Pamina, who reacts with understandable confusion and dismay. Papageno tells the Speaker he is through with trials, but when left alone, he reconsiders-a wife would be nice, he thinks. An old woman appears; when Papageno accepts her, she is transformed into the beautiful Papagena, only to be whisked away by the Speaker.
Pamina, distraught over Tamino's apparent rejection of her, contemplates suicide, but the three Spirits stop her and reunited her with Tamino. Together, Tamino and Pamina undergo the trials of fire and water, promising that nothing will ever divide them. The assembly rejoices at their success.
Papageno, blaming himself for Papagena's disappearance, prepares to kill himself, but the Spirits step in to reintroduce her.
Monastatos, the Ladies, and the Queen make a final attempt to destroy Sarastro and the brotherhood, which proves unsuccessful. Everyone celebrates the triumph of light over darkness.
David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of WNO.
General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of WNO's 2013-2014 Season.
The Magic Flute is a production of the
Clarice Smith Opera Series.
Soloman Howard and Shantelle Przybylo's performances in The Magic Flute
are sponsored by Geoff and Anne Kline Pohanka.
The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is made possible through the generous support of
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
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