Beloved ‘Magic Flute’ story performed by marionettes

The celebrated story of the bird-catcher Papageno and Pamina, daughter of the Queen of Night, is back on stage – via the magical movement of puppet theater – with Vienna’s Marionettentheater Schloss Schoenbrunn presenting Mozart’s «Magic Flute» at the Coronet Theater. (Performances run to January 26.) Christine and Werner Hierzer, founders of the Marionettentheater Schloss Schoenbrunn, spent 15 years with the prestigious Salzburg Puppet Theater before creating their own troupe. In 1999, the company was awarded first prize at the 32nd International Festival of Puppets in Zagreb for their performance of «Eine Kleine Nacht-Musik,» while the following year they took first prize at the World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague, where they presented «The Magic Flute.» For Christine and Werner Hierzer, the most important factor in their art is communicating with their audiences. Hence, the troupe’s penchant for touring, aiming at bringing puppet theater to the people. Sculptor Sepp Rems – the man who breathes life into wood – is responsible for the puppets’ faces, hands and legs. Says Hierzer: «A puppet must be light and flexible, so that the puppeteer can reveal its character through small movements.» For «The Magic Flute» performances the company is using a 1964 Deutsche Grammophon landmark recording of the Berlin Philharmonic directed by Karl Bohm, featuring Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Evelyn Lear and Roberta Peters.

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