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The Magic Flute of

L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio

Elaboration from Mozart's opera by Leandro Piccioni and Mario Tronco

The idea was first developed in 2007 thanks to a proposal by Daniele Abbado for the White Night in Reggio Emilia. The project seemed crazy at first, but later it was decided to develop it further as if Mozart’s opera were a musical fairy tale passed on orally and interpreted in various ways by each of the musicians of the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio. And as often happens when stories are passed on by word of mouth, the events and characters, as well as the music, were transformed from the original and took on a new form and interpretation. 

The roles were assigned to the musicians based on their resemblance to and shared experiences with the characters in the story. Tamino is played by Ernesto Lopez Maturell, a young man with the youthful exuberance of his years. More than love for Pamina, played by the Anglo-American folk singer Sylvie Lewis, who is as sweet as she is determined, our Prince is moved by both his desire for adventure and fear of the unknown. Carlos Paz, an artist with strong political and religious roots who often talks of the shamanistic rites of his country, has the role of the enlightened Sarastro. The Queen of the Night was originally created with the singer Petra Magoni in mind – one of the few parts played by a Westerner – a vocal virtuoso with a vast repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to the Beatles. Her Queen has a mysterious character, solar and dark at the same time; she is seized by bursts of energy, then collapses like a burnt-out club singer. And because of the similarity not only of names, the role of Papageno was given to Pap who, like Mozart’s character, is a simple but profound person.


We wanted to narrate a contemporary version of the Magic Flute set in today’s multiethnic society. Mozart’s Magic Flute is set in an imaginary Egypt whereas ours takes place in a make-believe location without real geographical references. We chose not to do the complete version of Mozart’s work. The melodies are easily recognizable but often there are only traces of the original – some have not been developed fully and the more virtuoso parts were left out – intertwined by original music by the Orchestra. Our work with written music has to be developed very differently from a “traditional” orchestra. Not all the musicians can read music and they all come from different backgrounds. From folk, reggae, classical music, pop and jazz, our music also makes references to different cultures. The musicians in the orchestra have varied and diverse roots, both musically and geographically and they also bring his or her language: Arabic, English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Wolof and Italian.

The Orchestra is on stage and not in the orchestra pit throughout the performance and the musicians become the characters in the story by putting on a costume and taking center stage.

Leandro Piccioni at the piano in the Magic Flute

Narrator Omar Lopez Valle Papageno El Hadij Yeri Samb The Queen of the Night
Petra Magoni / Maria Laura Martorano Pamina Sylvie Lewis Tamino Awalys Ernesto
Lopez Maturell
Sarastro Carlos Paz Monostatos Houcine Ataa Priest Raul Scebba Messenger Ziad Trabelsi Three Ladies John Maida, Gaia Orsoni, Zsuzsanna Krasnai Three Boys Pino Pecorelli, Emanuele Bultrini, Dialy Mady Sissoko Priests Peppe D’Argenzio, Fausto Bottoni, Fabrizio Gianitelli, Sanjay Kansa Banik
with the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio
guest musicians
Petra Magoni
, vocals / Maria Laura Martorano vocals Sylvie Lewis, vocals, guitar

Artistic Direction and Conductor Mario Tronco
Musical Re-elaboration Mario Tronco and Leandro Piccioni
Watercolours, Animation and Set Design Lino Fiorito
Lighting Design Pasquale Mari
Costumes Ortensia De Francesco
Texts written in collaboration with Renato Benvenuto and  Luigi Trucillo
Costume Assistant Katia Marcanio
First Assistant Set Design Carmine Guarino Motion Design Raffaele Russo
Costumes by Sartoria Annamode 68 Additional costumes sponsored by GoldCase and Uptown snc
Technical Director / Lighting Engineer Daniele Davino Sound Engineer Gianni Istroni
F.O.H. Engineer Massimo Cugini Backliner Juan Tomas Ortiz
Projectionist Gian Claudio Pallotta Projectionist Daniele Spanò

Original production
Romaeuropa Festival 2009 and Les Nuits de Fourvière / Département du Rhône
In collaboration with
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Associazione Culturale Apollo 11




“Since its beginnings, the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio has always been mainly about live music, music that is created, grown and developed in a studio, our own laboratory, but takes shape and defines itself ‘in the field’, in front of an audience, on stage.

We realized that we had to record the OPV’s Magic Flute, our craziest venture to date, live; all together in one place and at the same time just like they did in the old days on those records that each one of us would take to a deserted island. You will hear the results. We like it. It’s live. It’s alive. You can hear the Orchestra, complete with all our emotions and every breath we take.”
Pino Pecorelli
(from the book/CD Il Flauto Magico secondo l’Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio – Elliot Edizioni)

Pressbook – The Magic Flute by Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio (.pdf)
Press Release Teatro Olimpico Rome (.pdf)

l’Orchestra di PiazzaVittorio – The Magic Flute (.jpg)
l’OPV – The Magic Flute – The Queen of the Night – Petra Magoni (.jpg)
l’OPV – The Magic Flute – Papageno (.jpg)
l’OPV – The Magic Flute – Queen of the Night – Maria Laura Martorana (.jpg)
Playbill of the Magic Flute by the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio.jpg
Book/CD Cover – The Magic Flute by the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio (.jpg)

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