Behind The Scenes At The Magic Flute At The English National Opera!

By Alice Jenkins, Year 9

A trip to see the Magic Flute at The English National Opera is exciting enough, but this year, six girls from Year 9 and three in Year 12 were fortunate enough to have an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour by the principal flautist, Claire Wickes.

Claire showed us the auditorium being set up for the show – it was incredible to see how far back the room extended past the stage.


You would never guess the amount of space needed to store props, cables and other equipment.

According to Claire, nearly a hundred people work on any one production. This was evident as the whole place was buzzing with activity, everyone rushing to prepare the stage in time for the show to begin at 7:30.

Once the show finally began, it was incredible.

For the Magic Flute, the orchestra in the pit is elevated to the level of the audience, so we had a full view of everything they did. The singing was astounding, especially since it was completely unamplified. Thanks to Claire, we knew what to look out for: everything is performed live, even the sound effects! In the left-hand corner of the stage, a man drew on a chalkboard all the backdrops. In the right-hand corner, a woman in a soundproof box made all the sound effects.

Overall, the evening was wonderful and worth staying up until 11:30 to see!


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