"Don't leave out the serious aspects, but don't forget the humor either!"
This, according to August Everding, was the basic idea behind his staging
of "The Magic Flute", which premiered on 30 August 1978 at the Bavarian
State Opera. He wanted his Magic Flute neither too philosophical nor too
comical, but sought instead to unite all the conflicting elements in this
work: the fairy-tale magic, fun, brightness, intellectual depth and
humanistic ideals. He also did not want to bore his audience with
continuous scene changes behind a closed curtain. In order to realize
Everding's concept of an uninterrupted change of scenes, stage designer
Jürgen Rose resorted to painted backdrops and architectural elements.
Everding calls the result a mixture of timeless fairy tale and 18th
century. For this production, Everding and Wolfgang Sawallisch revised and
greatly shortened Schikaneder's dialogues. The trio sung by Sarastro,
Tamino and Pamina, for example, was moved forward a few numbers for
dramaturgical reasons. According to Sawallisch, "in its original position,
this trio is illogical and a 'brake'."