Lyric Opera Mounting First New Production of Mozart's The Magic Flute in 30 Years


Acclaimed soprano Christiane Karg will star as Pamina in Lyric Opera's first new production of The Magic Flute in 30 years this winter (photo courtesy of Ms. Karg).


Lyric Opera of Chicago will present a new production of The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s beloved opera about the triumph of good over evil staring a cast of luminary artists including Christiane Karg (soprano) at Pamina, Kathryn Lewek (soprano) as Queen of the Night, Christof Fischesser (bass-baritone) as Sarastro and, in turns, both Matthew Polenzani and Andrew Staples in the role of Prince Tamino.  

In Mozart’s final opera, confusion looms as a young Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, has been captured by a high priest she has been told is the embodiment of evil. Prince Tamino, who falls in love with Pamina’s very portrait, is dispatched by the queen on a quest to free Pamina and encounters mystery, magic and a trial by fire that reveals all may not be as it seems in the realm of good and evil.

Rory Macdonald has been tapped to conduct the new Lyric production, directed by Neil Armfield and designed by Dale Ferguson, with lighting by Damien Cooper. Michael Black is chorus master and Denni Sayers is choreographer. 

“Three decades after the premiere of our last new production of The Magic Flute, Lyric is bringing the masterpiece back to our stage in the highly imaginative vision of director Neil Armfield,” says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, president & CEO. “I know our audiences will be entranced by Neil’s concept, and they’ll be delighted by our wonderfully enchanting cast. The Magic Flute will be a joy and the ideal choice for families at holiday time.”

​Adds Lyric’s music director, Sir Andrew Davis, “This is, of course, one of the most life-enhancing works ever composed, and it’s also loaded with great humor and delightful romance. It’s a piece you can experience over and over again, because it invariably renews your spirits and gives you hope for humanity.”

The opening-night performance of The Magic Flute will be broadcast live locally on 98.7WFMT and globally on at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. Performances are in German with projected English translations. 

Lyric will mount eleven performances through January 27 at its home, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Tickets start at $39 for adults and $20 for children and are available now at or by calling 312.827.5600.