Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (or The Magic Flute) is that historical rarity in opera: a singspiel (combining, as it does, German folk songs with complex operatic movements) that has endured to the present day. Its legacy has stretched from its conception, around 1791, to the early 21st century, when it is still one of the most revived operas. Zauberflöte opens with Sarastro, a kindly priest of Isis and Osiris, pulling the princess Pamina from the captivity of her mother, The Queen of the Night. The Queen wheedles Prince Tamino into "rescuing" her daughter; thus begins a lengthy quest for the young man, but Tamino ultimately defies The Queen's expectations by falling in love with Pamina and becoming a protégé of Sarastro. This release of Die Zauberflöte is actually a film of a live performance of August Everding's 1983 stage production at the Munich Opera. Kurt Moll performs as Sarastro, Edita Gruberova plays The Queen of the Night, Lucia Popp portrays Pamina, and Francisco Araiza leads the cast as Tamino.