March 06, 2019


Lyric’s new production views Mozart’s masterpiece through children’s eyes

Director Neil Armfield has had a lifelong attraction to The Magic Flute. “At its heart,” he says, “are such generosity, such love of music, such a sense of play.” In directing Mozart’s opera for the first time, Armfield felt it was “a matter of creating a very strong frame, against which the fringes and details of plot would be allowed to happen without seeming wrong, strange, or ahistorical in some way.” 

In bringing Flute into relatively recent times for Lyric’s new production, Armfield is playing on memories of his own youth, creating a production that is “framed by children’s imagination.” He recalls a Christmas party where an area had been cleared in a big house, “and there was a performance given for the kids. This triggered a thought: what if The Magic Flute were a performance being created by the three boys, with one of them directing it? I started to imagine what the production might be if it were directed in the house of his parents by a kid of 14, my age when I first encountered the work. There’s an element of exploring my own innocent sense of theater.” 

New Lyric Opera production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute generously made possible by

The Negaunee Foundation

Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin

Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow

Photos: Michael Brosilow