Berlin commissions sequel to Mozart’s Magic Flute

Berlin commissions sequel to Mozart’s Magic Flute


norman lebrecht

May 04, 2021

The Komische Oper Berlin has commissioned an opera from Finnish jazz composer, Iiro Rantala.

The opera Die Zaubermelodika is “a sequel to Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte”.

Apparently, the Queen of the Night is a drag queen sung by a countertenor.

The premiere is due in October.


  • John Borstlap says:

    Mocking the great masterworks of the European past, remember: undemocratic, colonial, slave-trading, mysoginist, – what more do we have? – has become fashionable, to hide contemporary creative malaise. So, we joke about it by asking a jazzer to produce a sequel to the Magic Flute. Of course Mr Rantala is puffickly qualified, and audiences will rejoice.

    • zeno north says:

      How much of it have you heard? I’ll probably dislike it too, but I’m not prepared to decide that before hearing a note of the music.

      This leads me to note that the level of dogmatism I read in the comment section on this website is just as intransigent as the deadlock and hostility between the two main political parties in the US.

      • John Borstlap says:

        I understand your concern, but it is not always true that we first should taste the pudding before we form an opinion about it. There are dishes (like bat soup) which communicate their nature immideately on sight….

        ….. and asking a jazz pianist who never wrote a classical piece to write a ‘sequel’ to the Magic Flute by Mozart, is like asking a fish and chips seller who has never even cooked for himself to substitute for a 5 star restaurant cook on the Champs Elysée. Maybe he will do an excellent job, but the chances are so slim that any gourmand has the right to conclude beforehand that he will eat somewhere else.

        • RW2013 says:

          Indeed, with the new direction of the Brocking and the Möser, we should brace ourselves for much more bat soup (or not).

  • Uncle Fred says:

    There’s already a sequel to Zauberflöte. Schikaneder called it ‘Das Labyrinth’ and premiered it in 1798 with music by Peter von Winter, Mozart no longer being available. Salzburg released a DVD in 2012. Aside from learning the Queen of the Night’s name is Luna, the most memorable thing about the show was the way Schikaneder’s racism and misogyny became even more pronounced without Mozart’s restraining influence.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I had to look above to see if the date this was posted was April 1.

  • caranome says:

    What’s next, the Ring IV?

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    There is already an ‘official’ sequel, written by the ’Zauberflöte’ librettist Emanuel Schikaneder. The title is ‘Das Labyrinth oder Der Kampf mit den Elementen‘, it was set to music by Peter von Winter (a successful opera composer in his time, by now very obscure), and it was premiered in 1798. Recently, this opera was performed in the Salzburg Festival. It is very bad, indeed.

    • Stuart says:

      Indeed he was popular and successful both in Germany and in London. Actually he wrote two operas to libretti by Schikaneder, the other being Babylons Pyramiden. The Mozart connections continue: Winter went on to write two operas in London to libretti by da Ponte. There is another possible Zauberflote opera by Wranitzky called Der Zauberflöte zweyter Theil. An earlier opera by Wranitzky about Oberon was supposed to have inspired Schikaneder to write the Zauberflote libretto.

  • RW2013 says:

    Sounds awful.
    Why not do this?

  • MDP says:

    And why not, Berlin may love it.

  • La belle plus voix says:

    Why so much hate? The guy has not written a note yet. So give him a break already!

  • Eduardo says:

    horses for courses….

  • Edgar Self says:

    In “Die Zauberfloete” the Queen of the Night’s name is Astrafiamante, Flaming Star. It once cost me a night’s sleep to learn this Who can forget her in “Amadeus”?.