Mozart’s “Magic Flute” from Baden-Baden

From the Baden-Baden Easter Festival

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle

Kate Royal, Dimitry Ivashchenko, Pavol Breslik, Michael Nagy

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    The Magic Flute (02:39:52)

    Rundfunkchor Berlin, Nathalie Stutzmann Contralto (3rd Lady), Annick Massis Soprano (1st Lady), Simon Halsey Chorus Master, José van Dam Baritone (Speaker), Magdalena Kožená Mezzo-Soprano (2nd Lady), Kate Royal Soprano (Pamina), Jonathan Lemalu Bass (2nd Priest), Dimitry Ivashchenko Bass Baritone (Sarastro), Pavol Breslik Tenor (Tamino), Ana Durlovski Soprano (The Queen of Night), Benjamin Hulett Tenor (1st Armoured Man), Regula Mühlemann Soprano (Papagena), Michael Nagy Baritone (Papageno), David Jerusalem Bassbariton (2nd Armoured Man), James Elliott Tenor (Monostatos), Robert Carsen Director, Andreas Schager Tenor (1st Priest), Petra Reinhardt Costumes, Michael Levine Set Design, Peter van Praet and Robert Carsen Light Design

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    Introduction by Sir Simon Rattle (00:17:14)

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    Robert Carsen on the staging of The Magic Flute (00:11:06)

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    Behind the scenes (00:14:53)

Outstanding singers, star director Robert Carsen, and the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle: It was in every respect a memorable performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute with which the Berliner Philharmoniker opened their Easter Festival in Baden-Baden in March 2013. 

The Canadian Robert Carsen has directed productions for almost every major opera house. He is fascinated by the complexities in the Magic Flute: “It is completely designed around opposites. Day and night, love and hate, man and woman, the hero Tamino and the simple Papageno.” Musically, too, the Magic Flute has an infinite variety – and given the immense popularity of the opera, this wealth is often overlooked. Sir Simon Rattle says: “Let’s not forget what a raging masterpiece the Magic Flute is, and how different it was from anything anybody had done before – even Mozart.” 

The Financial Times spoke of a “top-drawer cast”: “Pavol Breslik is all you could wish for in a Tamino, Michael Nagy’s Papageno is charismatic and lithe, Kate Royal gives Pamina subtle complexity as well as grace.” Then there is the added attraction of a special première: the orchestra had never performed the opera live and in its entirety before. Only three studio recordings – under Sir Thomas Beecham in the 30s, Karl Böhm in the 60s, and Herbert von Karajan in the 80s – were previously released. A grand tradition which is continued with this recording.

Magic Flute

On Blu-ray & DVD: Simon Rattle Simon Rattle conducts
the “Magic Flute” at the Easter Festival
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