An enchanting adventure.

The Magic Flute

Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 8 PM
Tuesday, April 12 at 7 PM
Friday, April 15 at 8 PM

Sung in German with English dialogue and projected English translations.

Running Time: 3 hours

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Directed by Michael Cavanagh
Conducted by Tadeusz Biernacki


The Story

When a prince wanders into a strange land, he is asked by the grief-stricken queen to rescue her daughter, Pamina, who has been imprisoned by a tyrant, Sarastro. To aid him in his search, she gives the prince a magic flute and sends along the comical bird man, Papageno. Throughout the fantastical journey there are serpents to slay, animals to tame, and trials by fire and water.

Is this a fanciful fairytale about a prince out to win his princess with the help of a merry bird catcher? Or is it a fascinating allegory of religion, politics, and freemasonry that explores the very nature of virtue?

The Music

This magical musical fairytale was Mozart’s

final masterpieceand considered his finest opera.

  • Papageno’s “Der Vogelfänger bin ich” (I am the Bird Catcher)
  • Tamino’s “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön” (This portrait is beautiful)
  • Pamina’s aria “Auch, ich fühl’s” (Ah, I sense his love fading)
  • The Queen of the Night’s “O zittre nicht” and “Der Hölle rache” (The Rage of Hell)

Full synopsis»

Here's what they said about
The Magic Flute


The Mozart Mystique

A Presentation on Mozart's Impact on the Arts

Saturday, March 26, 2pm

Lecture Room, Winnipeg Art Gallery

300 Memorial Boulevard

The music of Mozart has significantly informed and impacted the Western tradition of the performing and visual arts.

William Baerg, Professor Emeritus in Music, Canadian Mennonite University, will explore the aura surrounding the Austrian composer and the timeless appeal of one of his most beloved operas, The Magic Flute.

Free of charge, but advance registration is requested.

Call Livia at 944-8929 or email

Coffee reception to follow

Presented in conjunction with the Winnipeg Art Gallery


Mozart, Masons & the Manitoba Legislative Building Tour

Sunday, April 3

Did you know that Mozart and the librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder were both Freemasons and that The Magic Flute is brimming with Masonic symbols?

Did you know that the Manitoba Legislative building's architect was a Freemason and that he designed the building to represent King Solomon's Temple, the building from which Freemasons trace their origins?

Join us for this special tour with Don Finkbeiner. (more...)


Pre-Show Chats

The Magic Flute

Saturday, April 9, 7:30 pm

Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 pm

Friday, April 15, 7:30 pm

An informative, 15-minute presentation that will add to your enjoyment of the production.

Presenter: Derek Aasland, composer, director, actor and currently Associate Artistic Director of Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

Location: Orchestra Right, Main Floor



By Robert Vineberg, Manitoba Opera, Board of Trustees

A look at the background to the operas produced by Manitoba Opera and what was happening in the world and in Winnipeg at the time of those operas were first produced.

“Mozart’s Finest Opera”

Milton Cross, who for decades was the voice of the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts, described the The Magic Flute as Mozart’s finest opera: “In it, he combined simple German folk tunes and classic operatic writing with brilliant effect. The plot is a curious hodgepodge of political satire, the symbolism of Freemasonry, and naïve humor, set against an Egyptian background.” Cross suggests that the focal point of the opera’s action, the Temple of Isis, represents Freemasonry; that Pamina represents all that is best in the Austrian people; that the shrill Queen of the Night was a parody of dowager Empress Maria Theresa, who virulently opposed Freemasonry, despite the fact that her son, Emperor Joseph II, was a Freemason himself and was considered a liberal and enlightened monarch (notwithstanding Peter Shaffer’s parody of him in the play and movie Amadeus). Prince Tamino was likely symbolic of the Emperor. Finally, the trials by fire and water that Pamina and Tamino had to endure, the conflict between light and darkness, goodness and evil and the final triumph of good over evil are all to be found in Freemasonry and were ideas typical of the period known as “The Enlightenment.”



Production Librettos for Purchase

  Overture OperaGuides for The Magic Flute, published in association with 
  the English National Opera areavailable for sale. Guides include the 
  complete libretto in the original language and the English translation, a  
  thematic analysis, illustrations and photographs, and a bibliography and 
  discography. Widely regarded as the best series of their kind.


  Cost: $22.50 including GST

  Call Livia at 944-8929 to order your copies.



CDs to Borrow or Purchase

Full-length operas ($29.10) and highlight ($11.20) CDs of The Magic Flute are available for purchase or to borrow for a two-week period.

Call Livia at 944-8929 to order or click here to view items online.




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