The Magic Flute has always been a crowdpleaser, but audience demand has been so great that a fifth performance of Mozart’s singspiel has been added to next year’s Adelaide Festival. Much of the interest can be attributed to the production, which is from Australian Barrie Kosky and the London-based performance company, 1927. Fusing live opera with stunning, animated tableaux, it premiered at Berlin’s Komische Oper in 2012 (where Kosky is Artistic Director), and has since been seen all around the world to great acclaim.

The centrepiece of the 2019 Festival, interstate opera-goers account for more than 30 percent of the sales to date. Compared to the first two weeks of sales for previous operas featured in the Festival, ticket sales for The Magic Flute have exceeded 2017’s Saul (also directed by Kosky) by 38 percent and 2018’s Hamlet by 63 percent. The spectacular production is already selling faster than Saul (also directed by Kosky), which sold out after its four performances only 13 weeks after it went on sale.

“Wow! We knew Australian audiences would be excited about The Magic Flute’s inclusion in the 2019 Adelaide Festival and the chance to see this landmark work, but we did not expect to be announcing a fifth show so soon,” said Joint Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield. “Kosky’s Saul sold out very fast and many people were devastated about missing out – it’s clear that audiences aren’t going to risk that a second time ‘round!”

“The audience response is also a testament to co-directors Barrie Kosky, Suzanne Andrade and the miraculous team of artists at Komische Oper Berlin that there is so much early excitement,” added Healy and Armfield. “Together they have created a rare magnum opus that appeals to a broad range of people, from seasoned opera lovers to opera first timers. It is also confirmation that Adelaide Festival remains the destination event for arts lovers across the country.”

The fifth performance of The Magic Flute is on March 3.


The Magic Flute is at the Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, March 1 – 3, 2019. It also plays at His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, February 20 – 23, 2019

Limelight, Australia's Classical Music and Arts Magazine