Die Zauberflöte at Bayerische Staatsoper

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Emanuel Schikaneder
Première on 30th October 1978 at the Nationaltheater
Première of the Neu Einstudierung on 31st October 2004 at the Nationaltheater
The Joy of Drawing Has Remained
A Conversation with Jürgen Rose about the Revised Production of Die Zauberflöte
They look like works of art all by themselves: the sketches, stage settings and costume designs Jürgen Rose created in elaborately loving detail for August Everding’s production of Die Zauberflöte back in 1978. In their abundance and elaborateness, they document the development of a production concept and bring back many a memory.
For this revised production of Die Zauberflöte you worked together with the theatre craftspeople to overhaul and freshen up the sets and costumes. What do you feel about an artistic work that meanwhile lies 26 years in the past? Is this also an encounter with yourself?
That’s exactly the point: we recognize ourselves in these works, and yet they are somewhat unfamiliar at the same time, because, of course, we’ve developed further. I was amazed at the nonchalance with which I approached this piece, and the ideas that emerged. I would do many things totally differently today. But we have to be very careful to keep from destroying our original ideas. Ultimately our task today is to give the production a new sheen, and restore some things that have perforce worn out over the years: whether these are damaged stage backdrops or hangers which have fallen away for pragmatic reasons, costumes that are missing or are no longer in their original condition because they had to be altered every time a role was re-cast, and so on. I’ve gotten used to this in the course of all the work I’ve done, especially for the ballet. John Cranko or John Neumeier ballets I designed 20, 30, 40 years ago are still being performed all over the world, and all the ballet companies place great value on keeping them as original as possible.
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