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Das Labyrinth, der zweyte Theil der Zauberflöte – Insights from Stage Director Alexandra Liedtke

13 JUL 2012

published in: Opera

Alexandra Liedtke (Photo: Reinhard Werner)
1798 saw the premiere of Das Labyrinth, der zweyte Theil der Zauberflöte in Vienna – the sequel to Die Zauberflöte. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of Emanuel Schikaneder’s death, the Salzburg Festival presents the heroic and comic opera at the Residenzhof. Alexandra Liedtke directs and discusses the preparatory rehearsals and her ideas about the production in a video. The protagonists of the “first” Magic Flute are developed further here, and the story continues. The figures are not longer the same as in Die Zauberflöte; they have changed – for example, Papageno finally discovers his origins. Compared to Die Zauberflöte, the figures have also become more human.

Die Zauberflöte 2 is a highly adventurous fairytale; parts of it resemble fantasy stories popular today,” Liedtke explains. One can view the entire piece as one great trial, with faithfulness and virtue threatened by seduction and love having to prove itself against power, greed and vengefulness.

Liedtke trusts in the fairytale costumes the figures will wear in her production. “While the stage sets are reduced to a minimum, the costumes convey the fairytale ambience. We have decided on a kind of stylized traditional costume”. In Susanne Bisovsky and Elisabeth Binder-Neururer, she has found the perfect team to design the costumes. “Traditional dress is timeless, surviving the dictate of fashion, and also has a lot to do with Salzburg,” says Liedtke.

Using the Residenzhof as a stage is one of the production’s particular challenges. The baroque ambiance is perfectly suited to the piece, and the optical accents provided by the costumes make its visual effect even richer. Natural daylight, which cannot be controlled in any way, adds a special atmosphere. “It is a special challenge to find individual, idiomatic images when everything you rely on inside a theater – revolving stages, lifting gear, traps, wing space – is not available. We can’t even dim the lights.”

Watch the video to learn more about the background and Liedtke’s production of the opera Das Labyrinth, der zweyte Theil der Zauberflöte at the Salzburg Festival.

*The quotations above are taken from interviews with Alexandra Liedtke in Die Presse and Opernglas

(The video is only available in German.)

Click here for further information and tickets for the opera Das Labyrinth at the Residenzhof.