The Magic Flute
A quest for wisdom & true love
Tamino, a young explorer, finds himself in a mysterious tomblike maze. A terrible monster begins stalking him and in his panic to escape, Tamino knocks himself out. At that moment, Three Women arrive to send the monster back to whatever vault it escaped from.
The Three Women are very taken with Tamino, each wanting to stay alone with him while the other two go and alert the woman they serve, the mysterious Queen of the Night. In the end all three go, promising to return.
Tamino comes to, not sure where he is or even whether he’s not dreaming. Another bizarre figure appears. It’s Papageno, the former ornithologist now bird catcher who works for the Queen of the Night. Papageno claims to have defeated the monster but the three women return and make it clear they were the ones who rescued Tamino. To stop Papageno fibbing they put a stopper in his mouth.
They give Tamino a locket with a portrait of the Queen of the Night’s daughter Pamina. Tamino immediately falls in love with Pamina and vows to rescue her from the terrible man who has kidnapped her.
The Queen of the Night hears his vow and arrives to promise that the moment Pamina is rescued she will be Tamino’s bride.
The Three Women give Tamino a magic flute to protect him on his mission. They give Papageno, who doesn’t really want to help, a magic music box to keep him safe. The Three Women give both men Spirits to guide them on their quest. Tamino and Papageno set off to rescue Pamina.
Pamina is trying to escape from the maze but she is caught by Monostatos, the man who is assigned to guard her. It’s clear Monostatos is very taken with Pamina. Papageno stumbles in and looks so bizarre Monostatos goes to get help. Papageno tells Pamina that a handsome young man is in love with her and they must go to meet him. They both yearn to have someone to love.
Tamino meanwhile encounters a stranger who questions him about his reasons for being in this tomb. Tamino tells him he’s here to rescue a young women from an evil man. The stranger tells Tamino he doesn’t know the true story about Pamina’s kidnap.
Tamino is afraid Pamina might be dead but mysterious voices tell him she is still alive.
The stranger returns with his followers. The stranger is in fact Sarastro, Pamina’s father and leader of a band of Philosophers working in the tomb. Monostatos has caught Tamino, who is shocked to learn the stranger he insulted is the man who stole his beloved from her mother. Monostatos expects to be rewarded for finding Tamino but instead is punished for harassing Pamina. Sarastro tells Tamino he must join the Philosophers or never find his way out of the maze.
Sarastro and the Philosophers convene and agree that Tamino is ready to undergo the three trials that lead to membership of their circle. The first trial is the Trial by Silence.
The Three Women appear and warn them that terrible things will happen to them if they join the Philosophers. Papageno is terrified and can’t keep quiet.
The Spirit Guides appear to tell the two men to be brave in the coming trials. They feed them to build up their strength for what’s to come.
Pamina finds Tamino but he can’t speak to her because of the Trial by Silence. She thinks he doesn’t love her any more and is heartbroken. She thinks that only death will end her suffering. Papageno wishes he had someone to feel as deeply about him.
Monostatos finds the unhappy Pamina and decides to make her his, but The Queen of the Night arrives. She is impatient for Tamino to lead Pamina out of the tomb. She admits she also wants to know the secret knowledge that Sarastro is uncovering. When Pamina tells her Tamino will become one of the Philosphers, The Queen of the Night is enraged. She tells Pamina she must kill Sarastro or she will no longer be her daughter.
Sarastro comforts Pamina and tells her that the secret knowledge he has uncovered involves forgiveness and resistance to the urge for revenge.
Tamino is led to the next two trials, The Trial by Fire and the Trial by Water by two Priests in protective outfits. Pamina cries out in despair, Tamino hears her and they are reunited. Pamina bravely leads Tamino through the secret doors that lead to the two Trials. Her love and the music of the magic flute protect them and they survive. They are welcomed into the band of Philosophers.
Papageno is overwhelmed by loneliness and thinks of ending his life. But the Spirit Guides tell him to use the music box to obtain what he longs for. He does and finally meets his perfect partner, Papagena.
Monostatos is now aiding and abetting the Queen of Night and they are about to blow up the tomb when Sarastro exposes their plot. But instead of punishing them, he heeds his own philosophy and humbles himself before them, asking forgiveness for having been so angry towards them. Every one sings of the joy and harmony that come from listening to this wisdom.