Set Design for the Final Scene in The Magic Flute

This set design was made in the same eclectic spirit that Mozart and Schikaneder used in the creation of their opera and reflects some of the various influences that were current in their time. In designing the Temple of the Priests of the Sun, I have portrayed the Egyptian motif explicit in the text as a typical New Kingdom temple pylon doorway with massive wooden doors and gold inset panels as mentioned in contemporary texts. The winged sun disk of Horus the Behedite over the door is an appropriate symbol for such a temple. The two red granite tekhenu or obelisks are in the same proportions as the one erected by Senwesret I in c. 1950 BC at Annu, the sacred city of the sun god, called On by the Hebrews and Heliopolis by the Greeks. The gold caps at the tops of the obelisks were intended to catch the rays of the sun while the shaft itself was described by Pliny as a symbolic representation of the sun’s rays.

Purchase this Issue