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The Magic Flute (2006)

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During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.



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Title: The Magic Flute (2006)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Kaiser ...
Amy Carson ...
René Pape ...
Lyubov Petrova ...
Tom Randle ...
Teuta Koço ...
Louise Callinan ...
Kim-Marie Woodhouse ...
Third Lady
Rodney Clarke ...
Charne Rochford ...
Second Officer
Peter Wedd ...
First Armed Man
Keel Watson ...
Second Armed Man


During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Musical | Romance


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 December 2006 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A varázsfuvola  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joseph Kaiser reportedly lost 30 pounds between recording and shooting to fit the young romantic soldier look of Tamino. See more »


First Officer: [spoken to Sarastro, about Tamino and Pamina] He's doing this for her.
Second Officer: [spoken] You are using him.
First Officer: [spoken] We are asking him to risk his life!
Second Officer: [spoken] Do you know what you're doing?
Sarastro: [spoken] I hope so. Tamino must succeed. This slaughter must end.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The overture to the opera is played both at the beginning and the end, but only at the end is it played over the film's credits. See more »


Version of The Magic Flute (1986) See more »


The Magic Flute
Based on the opera ("Die Zauberflöte") by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Musical Direction by James Conlon
English libretto and dialogue written by Stephen Fry
Performed by Joseph Kaiser, Amy Carson, Benjamin Jay Davis, Silvia Moi,
René Pape, Lyubov Petrova, Tom Randle, Teuta Koço, Louise Callinan,
, Kim-Marie Woodhouse, Charne Rochford and many others, with Chamber Orchestra of Europe
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Opera film magic!
8 April 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Now Kenneth Branagh's The Magic Flute is not my favourite opera film- then again this is a list that includes the 1976 film Tosca, Losey's 1979 Don Giovanni, Bergman's 1975 Magic Flute, Zeffirelli's 1982 La Traviata and 1986 Otello, Rossi's 1984 Carmen, Friederich's 1975 Salome and 1981 Elektra, and Ponnelle's 1982 Rigoletto, 1975 Le Nozze Di Figaro and 1981 La Cenerentola- but being someone who loves Mozart's opera I found myself very impressed by it.

It does look stunning visually. Despite the first world war setting, the film still maintains the opera fairy-tale feel, and the setting is evoked to poignant effect. On top of that, the costumes and sets do look beautiful, the effects dazzle and the cinematography shows a lot of skill. Mozart's music alone is worth the watch, with gems like the Overture, Papagaeno's Birdcatcher song, the Act 1 quintet, Dies Bildnis Ist Bezaubernd Schön, the duet between Pamina and Papagaeno, Ah Ich Fuhl, the Isis Und Osiris chorale, Der Halle Roche, In Diesen Heil'Gen Hallen, the scene between Pamina and the Three Boys and Papagaeno and Papagaena's duet, it is one of his best scores. Stylishly played and conducted, the film is a musical treat.

Stephen Fry's writing I quite liked, a lot of it is very witty and poetic. There are a couple of scenes where the writing doesn't quite work, such as in Sarastro's Isis Und Osiris, but overall I was entertained. The story, although the librettos of Cosi Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni are perhaps stronger and more compelling, is still powerful and moving to me, if missing some of the themes of the opera to make it even more gripping(ie. the whole Masonic idea). Of the characters, I was thrilled by Queen of the Night and Sarastro is noble and firm. However I was disappointed with Monostatos. Now here is a character that can either way, from overplayed, under-characterised or just right, and is perhaps the opera's most controversial character. But this is perhaps for me the first time where Monostatos' role is somewhat pointless.

Of the leads, Lyubov Petrova is the dramatic standout in a thrilling, hard-edged and often chilling performance as the fiendishly challenging role of Queen of the Night, especially with those eyes. Vocally, I have to say Rene Pape stood out by a mile. Not only is his Sarastro firm, noble and also comforting, but his voice is one of the warmest and most beautiful basso voices of recent times. He alone makes Isis Und Osiris worth watching, though as I've said I don't consider the scene in this film among the best versions of that aria, but I actually found In Diesen Heil'Gen Hallen to show off his vocal and character strengths more effectively.

Benjamin Jay Davis is a fun and charming Papagaeno, and Silvia Moi is suitably pert in the role of Papagaena. Together, they(and the older version of Papagaena) are a hoot. Joseph Kaiser is a dashing and not too stiff Tamino, and Amy Carson's Pamina is radiant and moving. These two really convince together. The Three Ladies are wonderfully kinky, the Three Boys shine with their simple charm and the chorus work is very well balanced. Branagh on the whole directs beautifully, I could tell even by the interviews and featurette of this Magic Flute that he had put a lot of thought and care into the film. It shows.

All in all, a very good, well sung and acted and magical film. I personally don't consider it the best version or production of the opera that I've seen(2003 Covent Garden, 1978 Glyndebourne, 1982 Salzburg, 1975 Bergman film and 1971 Peter Ustinov-directed version) and it is not perfect, but for any opera or Kenneth Branagh fans it is worth watching. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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