Mozart’s presumably best-known opera, The Magic Flute, created by the composer with his equally gifted librettist Emanuel Schikaneder in 1791, opens the series of new opera productions of the 2012 Salzburg Festival – and thus, the tenure of Artistic Director Alexander Pereira, who was able to convince Nikolaus Harnoncourt to lead the Mozart production on historic instruments. “It is not only a first for Salzburg, but also for Nikolaus Harnoncourt to perform this work in this sound-world in Salzburg, together with Concentus Musicus, bringing his entire life’s experience to bear on this production, and I am infinitely grateful to him for this gift,” Pereira expressed his delight. The new production will be shown at the Felsenreitschule, and thus, The Magic Flute returns to the magical and traditional venue long its home. Stage director Jens-Daniel Herzog will be responsible for the production, together with his long-time set designing partner Mathis Neidhardt. “In The Magic Flute two worlds clash, two worlds that are also codependent. On the one side: the world of light and rationality – on the other: the world of night, of feelings, of imagination, of dreams. Both embody principles in constant conflict throughout human evolutionary history, and it is still unclear whether there will be a harmonious balance or whether one principle will vanquish the other, even at the price of its own destruction. That is the struggle this opera relates, and the story of two couples caught up on the frontline of these principles, who have to prove themselves and find their very own way,” the director explains.