1-28 Dec 2023


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

3:15, incl. 1 interval



Die Zauberflöte

The magical power of opera

Simon McBurney’s production of Die Zauberflöte has won praise around the world as one of the most innovative and relevant interpretations of this popular Mozart opera. Now his production returns to the theatre where it was created.

Photo: Marta Syrko

The magical power of opera

Armed with a magic flute, a prince is sent out by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter from the clutches of cruel Sarastro. But during his mission, the prince discovers the world is not exactly as he was led to believe. What started as a rescue mission turns into a musical purification ritual for young people who are preparing to take over control from the old guard. Die Zauberflöte is an opera with many different layers. It is both comic and profound, humanistic and magical, complex and accessible.

Paper sheets transform into birds before your very eyes, a set of empty glasses becomes a glockenspiel, and a mobile platform functions first as a mountain, then a prison and then suddenly becomes a meeting table. Using such basic elements to trigger the audience’s imagination, McBurney demonstrates the magical power of theatre. The versatile conductor Riccardo Minasi is in charge of the musical direction. With DNO, he previously conducted Handel’s Rodelinda and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro to great acclaim.


The cast

The Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans will return as the comic and disarming Papageno, one of his signature roles. He will share the stage with soprano Ying Fang (Pamina), who has become a favourite with DNO audiences after her roles in Le nozze di Figaro and Der Freischütz. Young up-and-coming tenor Mingjie Lei takes on the challenging role of Prince Tamino, while celebrated bass Christof Fischesser performs the role of the high priest Sarastro.

Performance information

Singspiel in two acts

Libretto  Emanuel Schikaneder

Musical direction  Riccardo Minasi
Stage direction  Simon McBurney
Set design  Michael Levine
Costume design  Nicky Gillibrand
Lighting design  Jean Kalman
Video design  Finn Ross
Sound design  Gareth Fry
Dramaturgy  Simon McBurney, Klaus Bertisch
Revival direction  Rachael Hewer

Sarastro  Christof Fischesser (5 Dec, Anthony Robin Schneider)
Tamino  Mingjie Lei
Der Sprecher  Frederik Bergman
Königin der Nacht  Rainelle Krause
Pamina  Ying Fang
Papageno  Thomas Oliemans
Monostatos  Lucas van Lierop
Papagena  Laetitia Gerards
Zweiter Priester / Erster geharnischter Mann  Marcel Reijans
Erster Priester / Zweiter geharnischter Mann  Mark Kurmanbayev*
Erste Dame  Sophia Hunt*
Zweite Dame  Martina Myskohlid*
Dritte Dame  Esther Kuiper

Drei Knaben  Soloists Nationaal Jongenskoor
Rehearsing Irene Verburg

* Dutch National Opera Studio

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus Master
  Edward Ananian-Cooper

Boys' Chorus of Nationale Koren

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

Coproduction with English National Opera (London) and  Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

The return of Simon McBurney’s beloved production Die Zauberflöte

in the international media
Rave reviews

Five stars for Die Zauberflöte, Metropolitan Opera, New York — dazzling new production gets metatheatrical In director Simon McBurney’s Met debut, Mozart’s opera receives clever twists, along with first-rate singing - Financial Times

23 May

He was gently easing the audience into a realm of clever feints, a place where everything is both highly imaginative and endearingly simple — and where seeing the trick only enhances the magic.

22 May

‘With McBurney, nothing is as you  expect. Amid the darkness in this rich,  inventive production there were  moments of startling humour and  theatrical wizardry’

6 March

Diorama of a horror fairy tale

6 March

The perfect combination of fun and depth is what makes Die Zauberflöte so powerful

9 March

Online programme

Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.

De drie dames
Scenes Die Zauberflöte (2023) | Photos: Bart Grietens
Gefladder van vogels met A4-tjes
Papageno en Pamina
Scène tussen de boeken
Pamina op de voorgrond
Papageno en Papagena
Drei Damen

5 reasons to look forward to  ...  Die Zauberflöte

de toverkracht van muziektheater
Sopraan Ying Fang zingt Ach, ich fühl's (Die Zauberflöte)
Sound effects in Die Zauberflöte
Nederlands Kamerorkest

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra have been the main orchestral partners of Dutch National Opera for over thirty years. They are regarded as among the best opera orchestras in the world. The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is the main regular stage for their concerts.

Photo: Melle Meivogel

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

In addition to the programmes with chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti and Gordan Nicolić (musical leader of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra), the orchestras collaborate with both internationally acclaimed guest conductors and soloists and top-class musicians from the up-and-coming generation. The orchestras perform at numerous venues, bringing people together through their music and giving both classical music aficionados and new audiences the perfect musical experience. With their welcoming home base in the NedPhO Dome in Amsterdam’s Indische Buurt neighbourhood, the two orchestras are at  the heart of the community and aim to make classical music accessible to everyone who shows an interest.

In the 2023/2024 season, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing the operas Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Lohengrin, Il trittico and Oedipus Rex / Antigone.The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra can be heard in Die Zauberflöte and Roberto Devereux

Papageno - Papagena duet

In this wonderful Papageno - Papagena duet, the lovers sing of the moment when, after three and a half hours of searching, birdcatcher Papageno finally finds his Papagena. A mutual declaration of love with fluttering birds follows!

Duet Papageno and Papagena (2018) with Nina Lejderman and Thomas Oliemans

Duet Papageno and Papagena

Podcast - Die Zauberflöte

By: Wout van Tongeren

Photos rehearsal Die Zauberflöte
Photos rehearsal Die Zauberflöte (2023) | Photos: Melle Meivogel
Singer in wheelchair visibly angry at one of the characters
The artistic team follows the rehearsals
The artistic team follows the rehearsals
Cast and artistic team in a large circle
Cast and artistic team in a circle
Papageno by Thomas Oliemans
Papageno (r) and Pamina
Pamina and Papageno
Monostatos with 'magic flute'
Monostatos with 'magic flute'
Repetitiefoto's Die Zauberflöte, erste, zweite en dritte Dame
Erste, zweite and dritte Dame
Die Zauberflöte (2015) | Photo: Hans van den Bogaard
Tornado with couple in love
Photo: Hans van den Bogaard
Photo: Hans van den Bogaard
The origami birds are whispering
Photo: Hans van den Bogaard
Photo: Hans van den Bogaard
A battle between some persons
Photo: Hans van den Bogaard
Some characters in red
Photo: Hans van den Bogaard
A wrangling scene
Die Zauberflöte (2015) | Photo: Hans van den Bogaard

Partners Dutch National Opera Studio