THE MAGIC FLUTE
       
     
MOODBOARD FOR SARASTRO'S WORLD
       
     
COSTUME IDEAS FOR SARASTRO'S REALM
       
     
SARASTRO COSTUME DESIGN.jpg
       
     
DRAWING.jpg
       
     
CHORUS COSTUME DESIGN.jpg
       
     
TAMINO COSTUME.jpg
       
     
MOODBOARD FOR THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM
       
     
COSTUME IDEAS FOR THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM
       
     
STORYBOARD 1: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM
       
     
STORYBOARD 2: SARASTRO'S INNER SANCTUM
       
     
STORYBOARD 3: SARASTRO'S FORTRESS
       
     
STORYBOARD 5: THE GRAND FINALE- SUNLIGHT AT LAST
       
     
STORYBOARD 4: RESOLUTION IS ON THE HORIZON
       
     
THE MAGIC FLUTE
       
     
THE MAGIC FLUTE

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Theoretical Design, The Royal Opera House, 2016

Director: Martin Constantine

Set & Costume Designer: Eleanor Bull

MOODBOARD FOR SARASTRO'S WORLD
       
     
MOODBOARD FOR SARASTRO'S WORLD

This production of the Magic Flute is based round the ideas of conflict and unity- inspired by the roots of the esoteric imagery within the opera and the roles of gender within the Libretto.

An Opera about two worlds divided, The Magic Flute leads the audience through fantastical realms defined by the conflict of their respective rulers: The Queen of the Night and Sarastro.

The opera begins in the Queen of the Night’s Realm- a diseased and barren natural landscape dominated by two huge blood red structures, taking the form of sinewy, fleshy mountains.

As the action progresses, we move into Sarastro’s Realm: which deals in the man-made world, the trappings of scientific development, civilisation, and society. As we get deeper into Sarastro’s temple, the set becomes increasingly structural & architectural, gradually closing-off the Queen of the Night’s realm one step at a time until no signs of nature can be seen at all.

Sarastro’s world manifests itself as an isolated Cargo Cult, where our every day objects have been found in isolation, misappropriated, and revered as god-like relics, worshipping the mundane as if it were magic. The cult is driven by fear, especially fear of contamination from the outside world of the Queen of the Night. This is reflected in the costumes, the ridiculous kagool-like robes and hazmat suits of Sarastro’s subjects highlighting their fear of femininity and ultimately undermining their misogynistic agenda.

 

 

COSTUME IDEAS FOR SARASTRO'S REALM
       
     
COSTUME IDEAS FOR SARASTRO'S REALM
SARASTRO COSTUME DESIGN.jpg
       
     
DRAWING.jpg
       
     
CHORUS COSTUME DESIGN.jpg
       
     
TAMINO COSTUME.jpg
       
     
MOODBOARD FOR THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM
       
     
MOODBOARD FOR THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM
COSTUME IDEAS FOR THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM
       
     
COSTUME IDEAS FOR THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM

Left: The Three Ladies
Right: The Queen of the Night

STORYBOARD 1: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM
       
     
STORYBOARD 1: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT'S REALM

The stage is a landscape of dramatic blood-like mounds spread across barren land. Characters enter and exit through, from within, and around the mounds.

This realm is representative of the masculine-driven fear of femininity, shown through the strong presence of the moon combined with the womb-like nature of the landscape.

STORYBOARD 2: SARASTRO'S INNER SANCTUM
       
     
STORYBOARD 2: SARASTRO'S INNER SANCTUM

During the interval the stage changes to become representative of the world within Sarastro's Fortress. The mounds truck backwards. Although still visisble, their primary presence is now blocked by temple-like stone stairs. A huge stone & bronze plug statue is bathed in a holy spotlight, it is surrounded by the Priest's stone thrones. 
As well as reflecting Cargo-Cult mentality, this scene also includes references to esoteric imagery, especially the importance of the number 3 within Freemasonry. 

STORYBOARD 3: SARASTRO'S FORTRESS
       
     
STORYBOARD 3: SARASTRO'S FORTRESS

As the action of the opera progresses and the characters move though different rooms within the temple, the space becomes more and more structural, closing off the Queen of the Night's world scene by scene. 
Here a stone wall featuring three towering entrances is trucked in.

STORYBOARD 5: THE GRAND FINALE- SUNLIGHT AT LAST
       
     
STORYBOARD 5: THE GRAND FINALE- SUNLIGHT AT LAST

In the final scene of the opera, the union happens between Pamina and Tamino and the chorus celebrate the arrival of sunlight. As the orb is lit from within, the backs of the corridors fly out to reveal sunlight and a verdant, thriving outside-world. The full chorus trickle-in through the 3 entrances and down the steps, marvelling at the spectacle. They each remove their goggles/eyewear and unify in celebration of the balance being restored.
The orb pivots round revealing a cavity in its rear in which Pamina and Tamino sit together on thrones in their priestly garments.

STORYBOARD 4: RESOLUTION IS ON THE HORIZON
       
     
STORYBOARD 4: RESOLUTION IS ON THE HORIZON

This scene-change coincides with The Priests' Chorus: O Isis and Osiris. The large hand statue raises slowly up from a cavity beneath the stage, as - in synchronicity - the metal orb is slowly flewn in from above, these two elements eventually unify as the hand 'catches' the orb and sits in this position for the rest of the opera.
As this section progresses, solemn Priests and chorus-members/initiates appear through the three corridors to watch in awe as the spectacle unfolds.