Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte gets its first new Met staging in 19 years from director Simon McBurney, marking his company debut

  • Soprano Kathryn Lewek sings the role of Queen of the Night for her milestone 50th time at the Met
  • Maestro Nathalie Stutzmann makes her second appearance on the podium for Die Zauberflöte
  • The Met: Live in HD transmission of Die Zauberflöte to reach global audiences in cinemas on June 3

New York, NY (May 5, 2023)—Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (May 19–June 10), one of opera’s most beloved works, receives its first new Met staging in 19 years from acclaimed English director Simon McBurney. In his Met debut, McBurney lets loose a volley of theatrical flourishes, incorporating projections, aerial and sound effects, physical comedy, a hovering platform, and acrobatics to match the spectacle and drama of Mozart’s work. Maestro Nathalie Stutzmann—having made her Met debut earlier this season with Don Giovanni—performs Mozart double duty leading both productions running simultaneously. With the pit raised, the Met Orchestra musicians will interact with the cast. Gareth Morrell conducts the May 27 performance.

The cast includes soprano Erin Morley as Pamina—returning after a highly praised performance in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier—soprano Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night—singing her 50th performance of the role at the Met—tenor Lawrence Brownlee as Tamino, tenor Brenton Ryan as Monostatos, baritone Thomas Oliemans in his Met debut as Papageno, baritone Harold Wilson as the Speaker, and bass Stephen Milling as Sarastro.

The creative team includes set designer Michael Levine, costume designer Nicky Gillibrand—in her Met debut—lighting designer Jean Kalman, projection designer Finn Ross, and sound designer Gareth Fry—also in his Met debut.

Fridays Under 40

The Met’s Fridays Under 40 series continues Friday, May 19, with a party ahead of the premiere performance of Die Zauberflöte. Available exclusively for operagoers 40 and under, the event features complimentary wine, themed activities, and more. For further details, please click here.

Die Zauberflöte Worldwide Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online

The June 3 performance will be transmitted to cinemas worldwide as part of the company’s The Met: Live in HD series.

The May 19 and May 25 performances of Die Zauberflöte will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 355. Audio from the May 19 and May 25 performances will also be streamed live on the Met’s website, The performance on June 3 will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers—Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

Die Zauberflöte Artist Biographies

French conductor and contralto Nathalie Stutzmann makes her Metropolitan Opera debut leading Don Giovanni. As the recently appointed music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra—only the second woman to lead a major American orchestra—she is considered one of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time. She has also been the principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2021 and chief conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway since 2018. The core of her repertoire includes Central European and Russian Romantic works, as well as 19th-century French repertoire. She has led celebrated productions of Tannhäuser in Monte Carlo and Mefistofele at the Festival Orange in France. She started this season with a new production of The Queen of Spades at La Monnaie and will conclude it with Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival. She is also an award-winning contralto who has performed on more than 80 recordings. Her most recent album, Contralto (2021), was awarded Scherzo’s “Exceptional” seal, Opera Magazine’s Diamant d’Or, and RTL’s Classique d’Or. She was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, and a Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

English conductor Gareth Morrell joined the conducting staff at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995 and has led performances of Le Nozze di Figaro, Der Rosenkavalier, Tosca, Semiramide, Fidelio, Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Aida, and La Bohème. His previous positions include répétiteur at Covent Garden, director of the BBC Symphony Chorus, and director of choruses for the Cleveland Orchestra. In 1999, he was nominated for a Grammy Award as choral director on Simon Rattle’s EMI recording of Belshazzar’s Feast. After winning a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge, he began his professional career as a vocalist, making his London recital debut in the Purcell Room in 1979. He appeared in recitals with the Songmakers’ Almanac and in concert with the English Chamber Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia. On the operatic stage, he appeared in Boris Godunov, Così fan tutte, and King Arthur.

Following her critically acclaimed performances as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier last month, American soprano Erin Morley returns to the Met stage to sing Pamina. A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has sung 12 roles with the company, including Pamina in the company’s abridged English-language version of The Magic Flute, Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Woglinde and the Forest Bird in the Ring cycle, Podtochina’s Daughter in the Met premiere of The Nose, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. Other recent credits include Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Vienna State Opera, Cunegonde in Candide at LA Opera, and Sophie at the Glyndebourne Festival. Later this season, she is scheduled to sing Zerbinetta at the Bavarian State Opera and La Scala, Gilda in Rigoletto at Staatsoper Berlin, and Norina in Don Pasquale at the Glyndebourne Festival.

American coloratura soprano Kathryn Lewek made her Met debut as Queen of the Night in 2013, and since then, she has sung more performances of the role with the company than any other artist. She will sing the role for her 50th time at the Met during this run of Die Zauberflöte. She has performed her signature role more than 300 times with more than 25 companies, including the Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bregenz  Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Vienna State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Festival Castell de Peralada, Opera Leipzig, and Royal Danish Opera. Other roles include Countess Adèle in Le Comte Ory at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Four Heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as a reprisal of the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Opéra de Nice.

American tenor Lawrence Brownlee made his Met debut as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2007. He has also appeared as Prince Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Rinaldo in Armida, Tonio in La Fille du Régiment, Arturo in I Puritani, and Giacomo V in La Donna del Lago. He is a winner of numerous awards and distinctions, including Male Singer of the Year (2017 International Opera Awards), the Kennedy Center’s Marian Anderson Award, and an Opera News Award (2021). In May 2020, he launched The Sitdown with LB, a weekly Facebook Live series exploring the experience of being an African American opera singer. In spring 2021, he joined the Juilliard School as a distinguished visiting faculty member and serves as artistic advisor for Opera Philadelphia.

Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans makes his Met debut as Papageno. He has appeared as Mr. Redburn in Billy Budd and Schaunard in La Bohème at Covent Garden; Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Papageno at English National Opera; Mr. Redburn, Silvio de Nardi in Bomarz, and Hercule in Alceste at the Teatro Real in Madrid; Gonsalvo Fieschi in Die Gezeichneten at the Salzburg Festival; Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Marcello in La Bohème at Opéra National du Rhin; and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Donner in Das Rheingold at Grand Théâtre de Genève.

Grammy Award–winning Danish bass Stephen Milling sings the role of Sarastro. He made his Met debut as Sparafucile in Rigoletto in 2004 and has also appeared as Hunding in Die Walküre and the Voice of Neptune in Idomeneo. His other performance highlights include Hagen in Götterdämmerung at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Gurnemanz in Parsifal at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Filippo II in Don Carlo at San Francisco Opera and the Royal Danish Opera, Rocco in Fidelio at La Scala and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino at Semperoper Dresden and Palau de les Artes Reina Sofia.

American tenor Brenton Ryan returns to the Met as Monostatos after an appearance earlier this season as Spoletta in Tosca. He made his Met debut in 2016 as Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. He has also appeared as the Fool in Wozzeck, Missail in Boris Godunov, and the Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos. Additional performance highlights include his European debut as Pedrillo in a new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the roles of the Novice in Billy Budd and Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro at San Francisco Opera, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Nero in L’Incoronazione di Poppea at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Henrik in A Little Night Music at Houston Grand Opera.

American bass Harold Wilson returns to the Met as the Speaker after appearing as Hobson in Peter Grimes and Ramfis in Aida earlier in the season. He made his Met debut in 2011 as the Jailer in Tosca. At the Met, he has covered Pimen in Boris Godunov, Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Trulove in The Rake’s Progress. Additionally, he sang Oroveso in Norma and the High Priest of Baal in Nabucco at Palm Beach Opera, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Tulsa Opera, and Luther and Crespel in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and the Bonze in Madama Butterfly at the Santa Fe Opera.

English Olivier Award–winning and Tony Award–nominated actor, writer, and director Simon McBurney makes his Met debut with Die Zauberflöte. He is the founder and artistic director of Théâtre de Complicité in England, now called Complicité. As well as writing and creating original works, he has also brought great plays to the stage and adapted numerous works of literature. His production of The Master and Margarita (2012) was the centerpiece of the 2012 Avignon Festival, where he was the associate artist for that year, and most recently he adapted and directed Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity (2015) for the Schaubühne Theatre in Berlin. Besides his groundbreaking work in the theater, he has also acted in several films, including Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011), Jane Eyre (2011), Robin Hood (2010), Boogie Woogie (2009), The Duchess (2008), The Golden Compass (2007), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), and The Last King of Scotland (2006).

Canadian set designer Michael Levine has worked internationally as a set and costume designer for the past 38 years. He studied stage design at the Central School of Art and Design in London. He made his Met debut in 1997 with Eugene Onegin and provided set designs for François Girard’s critically acclaimed production of Parsifal in 2013. Other recent work includes Iphigénie en Tauride, Sweeney Todd, and Madama Butterfly in Zurich; Hell’s Fury at Luminato Festival Toronto; Die Tote Stadt at the Komische Oper Berlin; Wings at the Young Vic; and The Rake’s Progress at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

Nick Gillibrand is an award-winning costume designer and winner of the Gold Award for Best Costume Design at the Prague Quadrennial in 2003 for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has also provided costume designs for Rusalka, Il Trittico, Anna Nicole, Boris Godunov, The Gambler, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Gianni Schicchi, L’Heure Espagnole, The Queen of Spades, The Fiery Angel, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Cendrillon, Der Rosenkavalier, The Rape of Lucretia, The Miserly Knight, Flight, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Hansel and Gretel (set and costumes), Of Thee I Sing, Pelléas et Mélisande, Don Carlos, Wozzeck, Die Zauberflöte, War and Peace, and The Midsummer Marriage.

Parisian lighting designer Jean Kalman made his Met debut in 1997 with Eugene Onegin. His other productions at the Met include Don Giovanni, Macbeth, Attila, The Death of Klinghoffer, and Guillaume Tell. He has worked with numerous directors, including Peter Brook, Hans Peter Cloos, Pierre Audi (for whom he created the lighting for several productions at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and La Monnaie in Brussels), Robert Carsen (Nabucco, Alcina, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann, among others, at the Paris Opera), Nicholas Hytner, Tim Albery, Zhang Yimou (Turandot at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Jean-Louis Martinoty (Le Nozze di Figaro at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées), and Francesca Zambello (Dialogues des Carmélites and Boris Godunov at the Paris Opera). He received the 1991 Laurence Olivier Best Lighting Design Award for Richard III at London’s Royal National Theatre and the 2004 Evening Standard Award for Festen at the Almeida Theatre.

Scottish video designer Finn Ross is a Tony and Olivier Award–winning designer who has been involved in the development of video content used in live performance for the past 15 years. He made his Met debut in 2013 with Eugene Onegin, followed by The Death of Klinghoffer and The Hours. His other production credits include Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and Kevin O’Hare’s Our Extraordinary World at Covent Garden; Benvenuto Cellini, Death in Venice, and Don Giovanni at English National Opera; and Jagged Little Pill, Crossing, and In the Body of the World at the American Repertory Theater. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. In 2015, he co-founded FRAY, an award-winning design studio. He won a Tony Award in 2015 and two Olivier Awards for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Olivier and Tony award–winning British sound designer Gareth Fry makes his Met debut with Die Zauberflöte. Best known for his cutting-edge work in theater and his collaborations with many leading U.K. theater directors and companies, he has created numerous productions at the National Theatre, Royal Court, and countless other venues such as the Bridge Theatre, Old Vic, and Young Vic. He is a founder of, and spent six years as the chair of, the Association of Sound Designers, a charity that works to support people working in and entering the U.K. theater-sound industry. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.