William Kentridge Drawing from the series Preparing the Flute. Design for backdrop for the opera The Magic Flute 2005

  • Not on view

For the 2005 De Munt/La Monnaie production (premiere Brussels). Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Directed by William Kentridge. Music direction by René Jacob and Piers Maxim. Designed by Kentridge and Sabine Theunissen. Costumes by Greta Goiris

In preparation for directing and co-designing a production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, Kentridge created two bodies of work, Learning the Flute and Preparing the Flute. Through these drawings and models Kentridge arrived at the central metaphor of the stage as camera. His design employs photography's positive and negative imagery to emphasize the opera's larger themes—characters include both the Queen of the Night and Sarastro, the high priest of light. In this process-oriented design Kentridge marks up the perspectival space, maintaining the active sense of erasure and revision that characterizes the drawings for his stop-motion films.

Gallery label from Stage Pictures: Drawing for Performance, March 11–August 24, 2009.
Charcoal, colored pencil, and pastel on paper
47 1/4 x 63" (120 x 160 cm)
Fractional and promised gift of Agnes Gund
Object number
© 2020 William Kentridge
Drawings and Prints

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