Synopsis for The Magic Flute
In a dark forest, far away…
As he flees from a monstrous serpent, Tamino is rescued at the last second by three ladies who serve the Queen of the Night. When he regains consciousness, the first person Tamino sees is Papageno, so Tamino believes him to be his rescuer.
Papageno, a bird catcher in search of love, does nothing to dispel the misunderstanding. The three ladies punish Papageno for this lie by rendering him mute. They show Tamino a picture of Pamina, the Queen’s daughter. Tamino instantly falls in love with Pamina.
The Queen of the Night now appears. She tells Tamino about her daughter’s kidnapping at the hands of the evil sorcerer Sarastro. Tamino eagerly agrees to her command that he rescue Pamina. The three ladies give Papageno back his voice and instruct him to accompany Tamino. As a protection against danger, they give Tamino a magic flute, while Papageno receives magic bells, and three spirits will show Tamino and Papageno the way to Sarastro.
Pamina is tormented by Sarastro’s slave Monostatos, but she is saved when Papageno wanders in, having become separated from Tamino. Both Papageno and Monostatos are frightened by the other’s strange appearance. Left alone with Pamina, Papageno announces that her rescuer Tamino will soon arrive. Papageno admits that his own search for love has sadly proved fruitless so far, and Pamina comforts him.
The three spirits lead Tamino to the gates of Sarastro’s domain. He learns that the Queen is really the evil one, and the good Sarastro was merely trying to get Pamina away from her mother’s dark influence. Overjoyed to learn that Pamina is still alive, Tamino plays on his magic flute, enchanting nature with his music.
Papageno and Pamina try to flee, but they are caught by Monostatos and his helpers. Papageno’s magic bells soon put their pursuers out of action. Sarastro and his retinue then enter upon the scene. Monostatos leads in Tamino; Sarastro punishes Monostatos for tormenting Pamina. The long awaited encounter between Tamino and Pamina is all too brief; Sarastro orders that they must now face a series of trials.
The trial of silence
Tamino and Papageno must practice being silent. When the three ladies appear and attempt to persuade them to abandon their quest, the trial becomes truly difficult. Tamino remains silent and resolute, while Papageno immediately begins to chatter.
Meanwhile, Monostatos again tries to get close to the sleeping Pamina. The Queen of the Night appears and orders her daughter to kill Sarastro. Pamina remains behind, despairing. Sarastro seeks to console Pamina by forswearing any thoughts of revenge.
The trial of temptation
Tamino and Papageno must resist any temptation: no conversation, no women, no food!
As well as the magic flute and magic bells, the three spirits also bring Tamino and Papageno food, which Tamino once again steadfastly resists. Even the arrival of Pamina fails to draw a single word from Tamino’s lips, which she interprets as a rejection. She laments the cooling of Tamino’s love for her.
Before the last trial, Pamina and Tamino are brought together one last time to say farewell to one another. Papageno is not permitted to take part in any further trials. He now wishes only for a glass of wine—and he dreams of his great love.
For her part, Pamina believes that she has lost Tamino forever. In her despair, she seeks to end her own life, but is prevented from doing so by the three spirits, who assure her that Tamino still loves her. Gladdened and relieved, Pamina accepts their invitation to see Tamino again.
Reunited at last, Tamino and Pamina undergo the final trial together.
The trial of fire and water
The music of the magic flute and their love for one another allow Tamino and Pamina to conquer their own fear and overcome the dangers of fire and water.
Papageno is still unsuccessful in his search for the perfect mate. Despairing, he now also seeks to end his life, but is prevented from doing so by the three spirits. Papageno’s dream finally comes true: together with the beautiful Papagena, he dreams of being blessed with many children.
…the Queen of the Night, the three ladies and the turncoat Monostatos arm themselves for an attack against Sarastro and his retinue. However, their attack is repelled.
Tamino and Pamina have reached the end of their trials, and can finally be together.