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 Acousmatisation as Staging Practice



Sound-Image Relations

Research on the Concepts of Acousmatic Sound and Ventriloquism in Waves

By Lina Fregeres

The 2006 National Theatre production of Waves devised by Katie Mitchell was adapted from the famous experimental novel The Waves (1931) by Virginia Woolf. The novel tells a fragmented and dreamlike story of friendship, loss, identity and love, tracing a group of friends throughout their lives, from childhood to old age. It presents us with an exploration of the theme of human consciousness: "Let us again pretend that life is a solid substance, shaped like a globe, which we turn about in our fingers. Let us pretend that we can make out a plain and logical story, so that when one matter is dispatched – love for instance – we go on, in an orderly manner, to the next" (Woolf 1998: 210). Virginia Woolf writes about the fragmented nature of life. We can only pretend that life is solid and logical.

In her introduction to the novel The Waves, Kate Flint mentions the image of waves as helpful in understanding Woolf’s representation of consciousness "as something which is certainly fluid, but cyclical and repetitive, rather than linear" (Woolf 2000: xi). The characters in the novel merge and flow into one another. Their identities are accidental constructions and represent a fragmented memory of life, captured in flash images or ‘moments of being’, as recurring waves.

Woolf herself wrote in her diary that she wanted to create a style somewhere in between fiction and poetry, away from facts; "free; yet concentrated; prose yet poetry, a play-poem. For instance:

A woman thinks:...

He does:...

Organ plays:...

She writes...

They say...

She sings...

Night speaks... 

(Woolf 2000: xviii)

Director Katie Mitchell followed a similar approach. In the process of developing Waves, she started to work from this sequentiality of records of singular experiences, and captured them in poetic snapshots or tableaux vivants. Starting from the text of the novel, knowing that this text was happening inside the characters’ heads and that it was not acted out in dialogues, Katie Mitchell chose to use video and sound as a way of articulating these inner monologues. The exploration of live sound and live video enabled her to let the narrative flow between different places, times and people. One character is, for instance, performed by more than one actor. The actors also perform different kinds of roles: from performing voice-overs that present the characters’ inner monologues, to film actors and stage performers, to operators of live video or Foley artists creating live sound effects. For instance, the actors perform sound effects of people running for trains, opening or closing doors, of the movement of clothing, the noise of eating, or the sound of rain on a window. The performance gives the impression of an accurate, meticulous choreography. The sounds are laid over certain sections of the text or synchronised with specific movements in the video images. This specific use of live audio and visual media in the performance of Waves equals Virginia Woolf’s ambitions to recall identity as a fragmented memory.

Mitchell’s style is celebrated as a new art form, for instance, by The Guardian Unlimited: "Theatre and video come together so seamlessly and complement each other so exquisitely it is as if Mitchell, her actors and video artist Leo Warner have created an entirely new art form." (Guardian Unlimited). The performance of Waves is innovative because it plays with media-specific qualities and their reception. Although theory nowadays considers the ontological approach of media as outdated, in the practical use of them on the stage, media specificities are played out against each other. Waves particularly locates the identity of the characters in between media, to create a sense of fragmentation and deconstruct the idea of a solid subject. That which happens between media on stage and that which is mediated by Katie Mitchell to her audience touches the core of media-specific oppositions. Intermedial relations in Waves are used as dramaturgical strategies. In this essay, I will focus in particular on the relation between sound and image. I will elaborate on them through the concepts of the acousmatic and ventriloquism. I argue that Katie Mitchell in the performance Waves uses acousmatisation and ventriloquism as fundamental strategies to manipulate the spectators’ audiovisual reception.

To substantiate my argument, I will first discuss the concepts of the acousmatic and ventriloquism by using the theory of Pierre Schaeffer, Michel Chion, Rick Altman and Steven Connor. Acousmatic sound is a concept from music and film theory. Ventriloquism is a term related to acousmatic sound but derives from certain practices in the theatre. In this essay, ventriloquism is considered in the context of theatre. I am aware that Connor’s concept of ventriloquism has much wider connotations. It is also a concept used as metaphor, which discloses power relations between vision and hearing through history. Although acousmatic sound and ventriloquism as concepts help to describe the use of sound, both stress specific sound-image relations. They are described in visual terms, of seeing or not seeing the source of sound. Secondly, I will discuss how principles of acousmatisation and ventriloquism are translated on to the theatre stage guided by the questions:

    - ‘How do acousmatisation and ventriloquism function as intermedial strategies and steer the spectator’s audio visual reception in the performance of Waves?’

    - ‘How do acousmatisation and ventriloquism in the performance help to translate Woolf’s central theme of the ‘fiction’ of a coherent, solid life and self?’

The Acousmatic

The term ‘acousmatic’ originates from the Greek word ‘akousma’, which means ‘that which is heard’. The word refers to the teachings of Pythagoras, where pupils listened to the voice of the master from behind a curtain. They did not see him. Pythagoras himself was invisible in order not to distract his pupils from his words and the content of his lessons (Cox 2005: 237). Here, the separation of sound from its source implies that visibility of the sound source would distract the perceiver from listening. Sight, the sense of seeing was supposed to influence the sense of hearing.

The notion of ‘akousma’ was first used by Jerome Peignot, and later taken up by composer Pierre Schaeffer in the concept of acousmatic sound. Acousmatic sound is defined as "sounds one hears without seeing their originating cause." (Schaeffer, qtd. in Chion 1994: 71). "Radio, phonograph, and telephone, all which transmit sounds without showing their emitter, are acousmatic media by definition." (Chion 71). In his publication Audiovision Sound on Screen, composer-filmmaker-critic Michel Chion explores the concept of the acousmatic extensively in the context of film theory. Following Schaeffer’s notion of ‘direct’ sound as opposing acousmatic sound, Chion coins the term "visualized sound, i.e. accompanied by the sight of its source or cause." (Chion 72). In film, the use of acousmatic sound can follow several scenarios. Either sound is acousmatic first and is later disacousmatised, or sound is visualised sound first and then becomes acousmatised, in the sense that the sound source becomes invisible.

Acousmatic Sound and Perception

Acousmatic sound can influence our listening. According to Schaeffer, quoted by Chion, acousmatic sound is related to ‘reduced’ listening: "the listening mode that focuses on the traits of the sound itself, independent of its cause and of its meaning." (Schaeffer 1967: 270; Chion 1983: 33). "Acousmatic sound draws our attention to sound traits normally hidden from us by the simultaneous sight of the causes; hidden because this sight reinforces the perception of certain elements of the sounds and obscures others." (Schaeffer, qtd. in Chion 32).

Chion states that, instead of provoking ‘reduced’ listening, the acousmatic situation rather intensifies ‘causal’ listening in taking away the aid of sight (i.e. "[l]istening for the purpose of gaining information about the sound’s source”) (Chion 32). The acousmatic situation gives rise to the sound hermeneutic (Altman 1980: 74). Sound hermeneutic is a process whereby the sound asks "where"? And the image responds "here"! "The image, in terms of sound, always has the basic nature of a question" (ibid. 74). We want to verify the sound by identifying its source. This is based on the biological functioning of the senses, where the eye spots danger or confirms safety. Where hearing produces states of arousal and attentiveness, seeing is the sense of interpretation; the ear stirs, in questioning and the eye stills in answering (Connor 21). In this process, the perceiver experiences the senses as integrated, as a unity. In striving for this unity, the perceiver can be manipulated.

Acousmatic Sound supports the Illusion of Film

Cinema uses acousmatic sound as a strategy in supporting the filmic illusion of a sound-image unity. The audio visual contract points at this agreement of the audience to perceive the sound and image as a unity: “The audiovisual relationship is not natural but rather a sort of symbolic pact to which the audio-spectator agrees when she or he considers the elements of sound and image to be participating in one and the same entity or world.” (Chion 222). The illusion (through animation of image by sound) appears to be real. This illusion provides the spectator with an experience of being in the presence of what is presented: an illusion of immediacy. Immediacy (or transparent immediacy) is described by Jay David Bolter & Richard Grusin as: “a style of visual representation whose goal is to make the viewer forget the presence of the medium (canvas, photographic film, cinema, and so on) and believe that he is in the presence of the objects of representation’ […] “Immediacy is the perfection, or erasure, of the gap between signifier and signified, such that a representation is perceived to be the thing itself.” (Bolter & Grusin 2000: 60). To reach for coherency of meanings, the spectator agrees on the illusion of a sound-image unity in film.

The creation of vocal and aural illusions through sound in cinema can also be associated with ventriloquism. Mladen Dolar, film critic and philosopher, claims that the acousmatic is in fact part of every sound: the ‘ventriloquist’ nature of sound. According to Dolar, disacousmatisation does not exist (see Verstraete 2008: 5). The ultimate feature of sound is that it travels through space. It is placeless and frameless by nature. Therefore, one cannot say exactly where it originates from. The listener can easily be manipulated.


Ventriloquism is a practice related to acousmatisation. In ventriloquism, the source of sound is visible but not recognised as the source of sound. Connor defines ventriloquism as "a practice of making voices appear to issue from elsewhere than their source." (Connor 13-4). He differentiates between an active and a passive form of ventriloquism: the active form is thought of as a power to speak through others, and the passive form is thought of as the experience of being spoken through by others. Connor states that the history of ventriloquism is revealing the complex alternations between these two contrasting possibilities.

Where acousmatisation hides the source of sound, in ventriloquism this sound source is visible but cannot be visually confirmed by the perceiver as the source of sound. An example is the relation between the puppeteer and his puppet. People do tend to believe in the magic of the puppet due to the senses of hearing and seeing and manipulative tactics of the puppeteer. Ventriloquism uses the distinctive characteristics of hearing and seeing. As stated above, hearing demands confirmation of the location of sound by attributing the sound to a seen source. The puppeteer uses this knowledge and manipulates the puppet’s gestures and expression to draw the attention towards the puppet in letting him appear as the source of the sound. Distinctive characteristics of seeing force us to see one thing at a time (the puppet or the puppeteer) in sequence. Through vision, we arrange our world space whereas through hearing we experience ourselves as being in the middle of the space world. Hearing relates to simultaneity and seeing relates to sequentiality. Philosopher and historian Walter Ong, specifies about hearing and seeing: “Sound situates man in the middle of actuality and in simultaneity, whereas vision situates man in front of things and in sequentiality” (Ong, qtd. in Connor 15). These two processes, i.e. simultaneity of audio and sequentiality of vision, appear as aesthetic strategies in the practice of ventriloquism. They also manifest themselves in contemporary theatre and in Waves in particular.

Ventriloquism in Cinema and Theatre

Ventriloquism is a term more related to theatre than cinema, although Altman wrote about cinema as ventriloquism as well. Ventriloquism covers a wider field than just the puppet and the puppeteer. It is seen in the light of a strategy. In cinema, the aim is to pursue an illusion of reality. Actually, the voices of the characters on screen come from loudspeakers located elsewhere and the real ventriloquists are the technician and the director. Ventriloquism in cinema is an effort to bridge the sound-image gap and to mask the technological origin of sound (Altman 79).

Theatre can have the opportunity to expose the illusion of film and reveal its demand for sound-image unity. When showing the construction of video/film and its ventriloquist’s techniques, theatre exposes the illusion of immediacy. It can stage the processes of mediation simultaneously with the resulting audio- and visual product due to hypermediacy. Hypermediacy is: "a style of visual representation whose goal is to remind the viewer of the medium. Hypermediacy works as a counterbalance of immediacy. Where immediacy suggests a unified visual space, contemporary hypermediacy offers a heterogenous space" (Bolter & Grusin 34). Theatre can alternate between these two possibilities: it can show film as illusion of immediacy or uncover the illusion by showing the construction process. In the former, the process of mediation is invisible; in the latter, the process of mediation is visible.

The avant-garde western (music) theatre can be a fruitful ground for exploration. It can break with classical conventions of conventional hierarchic sound-image relations, where sound is subordinate to the image. An example of ventriloquism and non-hierarchic sound-image relations is the classic Japanese Bunraku puppet theatre described by philosopher Roland Barthes (Barthes 1974: 170). In Bunraku, the techniques of the puppeteer and the singing are openly shown on stage. There is a transparency (visibility) of mediation; the construction is obvious. Barthes discerns three categories: the puppet, the puppeteer and the vociferant, the effected gesture, the effective gesture, and the vocal gesture. Because of the visible use of media, all three categories equally demand attention. The spectator either follows the illusion of the story of the puppet, or can look at how the illusion of the puppet is constructed. The process of animation of the puppet through visual and vocal gestures is highlighted, rather than the illusion of immediacy of the puppet only. In this way, the mechanisms of concealment are exposed. It is a process-focused strategy, rather than product-focused, and considered by Barthes as a typical Eastern feature. Waves can be compared to this old tradition of Japanese puppet theatre in its exposure of mediation, and its similar processes with the puppet (as the screened film and sound) and the ventriloquist (as the stage action).


Now, I will study how Waves explores sound-image relations and the function of acousmatic sound and ventriloquism. What exactly do principles of acousmatic sound and ventriloquism bring about in the performance and why? I will first give a general impression of the performance (based on Blackadder 2008: 139-141).

Vicky Mortimer’s stage design consists of a large projection screen and a long table in front of it. Visual acting sequences around the table are recorded by video cameras and relayed to the film screen above. At the same time, other actors speak audio sequences from inner monologues of the characters into microphones at the other end of the table. In the front corners, more microphones are located, where actors create sound effects using all kinds of props, taking them from large shelves full of materials positioned at each side of the stage. Narrative texts are spoken into these microphones as well. To give a general impression of the tableaux-like montage of the performance and the precision of the assembly of all separated elements such as voice, sound, stage and film action, I will describe two moments in the performance. An actor speaks a woman’s inner thoughts: ‘I shall edge behind them,’ said Rhoda, ‘as if I saw someone I know. But I know no one. I shall twitch the curtain and look at the moon [...].’ (Mitchell 2008: 48). Another actor uses materials to make the sound she describes; a third actor embodies the character; a fourth actor directs a light at her face and, after that, holds up a piece of Plexiglass. A fifth sprays the glass with water. A sixth actor pours water from a watering can into a bucket. The seventh actor shoots the live video footage we see on screen of a woman looking out of a window on a rainy day.

In another scene, an actress speaks into the microphone at the right front: ‘There is only a thin sheet between me now and the infinite depths,’ said Rhoda. [...] ‘my path has been up and up, towards some solitary tree with a pool beside it on the very top. When the wind stoops to brush this height, may there be nothing found but a pinch of dust’ (Mitchell 84-5). An actress on the left side of the stage moves her toes in a tray filled with sand. The third actor points an orange light at the tray. He then shoots the live video footage: we see the feet with toes moving in the sand as if on the beach. A fifth actress at the right side of the stage stands still, looking down. A sixth is holding up a small blue backdrop behind her. Another actress positions a lamp at her face and then moves a cardboard board in front of her face. Another actress moves a branch of leaves in front of a microphone. We hear sounds and see a close-up of a woman’s face looking down at her feet while her hair moves in the wind.

Some scenes involve more actors than others. For instance, in another fabulous scene, seven actors are seated at the long table. They all sit at the same side facing the public. However, the video footage magically suggests that they are facing one another, while having a conversation or exchanging glasses at a dinner table. One of them is filmed in close-up, and in the meanwhile another at the other end of the table reads the text into the microphone. Spoken words become separated from the speaker; they make a connection with the screen image. Through its characteristics of spatiality and relatedness to simultaneity, sound connects screen and stage.

Acousmatic Sound in Waves

The actors do not speak on screen. Text exists only as off-screen voice. The voice-over on stage consists of a narrator’s text and text representing the inner thoughts of the character. Both types of voice-over originate from locations on the stage that are spatially separated from the screen. According to cinematic theory, they can be considered as acousmatic sound: the sound source is not visible on screen. The sounds originate from outside the screen space. Here, the acousmatic sound supports the illusion of immediacy of the video/film.

However, when the spectator focuses on stage events, the voice-over can also be considered as acousmatic sound that becomes visualised sound later on. Although the source of sound is not hidden, the audience certainly has to exert some effort to see it. Generally dimmed light circumstances on stage, combined with black clothing, prohibit clear vision and easy detection of the sound’s source. The reading actor easily dissolves into the background among other actors, and is not easily recognised as the sound source. The spectator has to search the stage. Sometimes, a small light is pointed at the reader, which makes it easier to spot him or her. Then, the acousmatic sound becomes visualised sound.

There is a tension between directing focus on screen processes (illusion of immediacy of film) and directing focus on stage processes (reality of construction). The audience can compare the screen with the stage, while hearing the same sound. Sound is related to simultaneity, whereas vision is related to sequentiality. The spatial quality of (acousmatic) sound is highlighted in Waves. The spectator can connect the sound either to the screen in confirming a sound-image unity, or connect sound to the stage and the location of sound and its construction.

Depending on where the spectator directs his or her focus, the sound has a different function. When the focus is directed at the screen, the acousmatic sound supports the illusion of the immediacy of film: of a sound-image unity. When combined with the stage, acousmatic sound unveils the filmic illusion. When the focus lies on stage, the function of acousmatic sound contrasts with the function of acousmatic sound in film. It encourages causal listening. The sound demands attention and confirmation of its location. It draws the attention away from the screen image towards the stage. Therefore, it breaks the illusion of immediacy of the film.

The dimmed light on stage prohibits an easy detection of the sound source. It emphasises the process of perception. The spectator’s attention shifts from screen to stage. In searching for the source of sound, his or her attention is manipulated away from the screen towards the stage. As soon as the sound source is clear, the spectator can also strive for unity by trying to look for similarities between screen image and stage. He or she does this by comparing the (staged) sound and image construction with the coherency of the filmic illusion.

Ventriloquism in Waves

Waves uses the same principles as in the Bunraku puppet theatre described earlier. Drawing equal attention to effected gesture (on screen), effective gesture (stage acting and sound image construction), and the vocal gesture (voice-over and Foley sound effects) in Waves, there is a transparency (visibility) of mediation. The construction is obvious. The sound is autonomous and not subordinated to the image. It draws attention to itself. Spraying water, pouring water into a bucket, an actor speaking into a microphone, shooting film footage etcetera; all is visible. Nevertheless, the spectator is immersed in the ‘magic’ of the performance; only now, the magic of the process of creating the performance is highlighted. The ventriloquist’s nature of sound connects simultaneous processes of stage and screen.

Sound-Image Relations

The narrating voice-over in Waves is mostly a catalyst for the film action. The film shows snapshots that illustrate the text. Yet, because they are constructed simultaneously they appear slightly later in time. Part of the images synchronises with the spoken text. The live constructed ambient and gestural sounds are all synchronised with the film images. The sound effects tend to refer more to spatial awareness than to their materiality through reverberation and technical choices made in balancing the sound with the voice.


The performance of Waves demonstrates the implication of both acousmatic sound and ventriloquism. Acousmatic sound is defined in visual terms: the invisibility of the sound source. In ventriloquism, the source of sound is visible but hides the process of sound making because of the tactics of distracting the audience and diverting their attention to elsewhere than the source of sound.

Acousmatic is a term from music and film theory, and ventriloquism is more applied in the theatre. Acousmatic sound can be found in Waves as voice-overs and Foley sound effects. In the use of different media on stage, the sound source is hidden. In focusing on the screen, the sound is acousmatic, supporting the illusion of immediacy of the film. In focusing on the stage, the acousmatic sound becomes visualised sound. The dark stage and black clothing of the actors (as voice-overs and Foley artists) prohibit easy spotting. Nevertheless, the source of sound is visualised on stage.

Ventriloquism can be related to Waves as well. Ventriloquism is the practice of making the source of sound appear to issue from elsewhere than its originating cause. The relation between a manipulating puppeteer and its puppet is a process found in Waves. The screened live filmed footage can be compared with the puppet and the constructing of audio/video with the puppeteering. Stage processes used in Waves are similar to the Bunraku puppet theatre. Effective gesture, effected gesture and vocal/sound gesture are openly shown on stage. The process of creation is highlighted.

Acousmatic sound in Waves functions as follows: It brings up causal listening. In searching for a visual confirmation of the sound source, the attention of the spectator is drawn away from the screen towards the stage. Acousmatic sound connects the screen and stage events because of qualities of simultaneity and spatiality. Sound is frameless. When the focus of the spectator is only directed at the screen images, acousmatic sound supports the illusion of immediacy. When the focus of the spectator is directed to the stage, acousmatic sound draws the attention away from the screen to the process of construction of sound and image.

The function of ventriloquism in Waves is to show the process of construction of sound and image, and the result, at the same time. Elements of visual and vocal gestures are used in a non-hierarchical way. The sequential aspect of vision emphasises comparison between screen and stage. The simultaneity aspect of sound unites screen and stage.

As such, acousmatic sound and ventriloquism in Waves manipulate audiovisual reception, and are used as dramaturgical strategies; the spectator perceives fragments in looking here and there, or perceives unity. This unity is found in either a similarity from screen to stage, or in the sound-image unity (the illusion of the film); audio- and visual receptions themselves are being stressed. In his own striving for a sound-image unity, the spectator can become aware of audiovisual reception itself. This mediates the leading theme in Woolf’s novel and Mitchell’s performance, as introduced in the beginning of this essay: the (frustrating) awareness of the fragmentation of consciousness, and its striving for unity (in identification) at the same time.


Altman Rick. “Moving Lips: Cinema as Ventriloquism” in: Yale French Studies, no. 60, Cinema/Sound. 1980: 67-79.

Barthes, Roland. "Lessons in Writing" in: Image, Music, Text. Transl. Stephen Heath. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux 1974.

Blackadder, Neil. "Waves, and: Attempts on her life" (review) in: Theatre Journal- Volume 60, nr 1: 3-2008: 139-140.

Bolter, Jay David & Richard Grusin. Remediation. Understanding New Media. Massachusetts: MIT Press 2000.

Chapple, Freda & Chiel Kattenbelt, eds. "Key Issues in Intermediality in Theatre and Performance". Intermediality in Theatre and Performance. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2006.

Chion, Michel. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. Ed. & transl. Walter Murch & Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press 1994.

———. "Raising the Voice". In: The Voice in Cinema. Transl. Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press 1999. [Taken from the syllabus ‘The School of Sound’].

Connor, Steven. Dumbstruck A Cultural History of Ventriloquism. New York: Oxford University Press 2000.

Cox, Christoph. "Lost in Translation: Christoph Cox on Sound in the Discourse of Synaesthesia" in: Artforum International, Vol. 44, 1-10-2005.

Mitchell, Katie. Waves. London: Oberon Books 2008.

Ong Walter J. The Presence of the Word: Some Prolegomena for Religious and Cultural History. Mineapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1981.

Verstraete, Pieter. "Distressing aural images on the fringe of the gaze" for Orbis Pictum-Theatrum Mundi conference, Amsterdam 24-10-2008.

Woolf, Virginia. The Waves. New York: Oxford University Press 1998.

———. The Waves. London: Penguin Books 2000.

Performance Credits

Waves, National Theatre, devised by Katie Mitchell. Act. Kate Duchene, Michael Gould, Anastasia Hille, Kristin Hutchinson, Sean Jackson, Liz Kettle, Paul Ready, Jonah Russell. Royal Schouwburg, The Hague. 18 October 2008.

Text version: 3 February 2009  |  Posted: 15 March 2009



Papageno and his Magic Bells

The Concept of Acousmatic Sound in the Opera The Magic Flute of W.A. Mozart

By Kitty Zoontjes

The opera is – although it is a Saturday – always a bad day, because it is a postal day – with a full house and the usual success and repetitions, performed…I entered the stage during the aria with the magic bells of Papageno, because I wanted to play that myself. Then I played a trick: as soon as Schikaneder prepared to start singing, I made an arpeggio – he frightened –he looked around him, saw me and did not want to go on, I read his minds and strike another note – at that moment he beat the magic bells again en said: ‘Keep your mouth shut’, everyone was laughing; I believe, that many of them just then knew, that he did not play the instrument by himself.

(Mozart, "8 Oktober 1791" in Bauer & Deutsch 1963: 159-160, my own trans., K.Z.; see also Rosenberg 1965: 46)

Above-mentioned quotation is coming from a letter of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who wrote this to his wife on 8 October 1791. From this quotation becomes clear, that the source of the sound of Papageno’s magic bells is not equal to the instrument visible on stage. There is an invisible, hidden source which makes the sound of the magic bells. This refers to the concept of acousmatic sound. The Magic Flute is a good example of an opera to examine this concept, because it is an opera of a new kind of genre of opera in Mozart’s time: the Singspiel.

In short, a Singspiel is an eighteenth century opera in German language and it contains spoken dialogues and is usually comic in tone (Bruls 2001: 59-61). In The Magic Flute, Mozart uses different techniques, and one of it is hearing something, of which you do not see the source. In the opera, there are three scenes in which Papageno uses the magic bells and in these scenes he also cannot sing. According to Carolyn Abbate, it looks like if the magic bells take over his voice (Abbate 2001: 79).

Since the première in 1791, The Magic Flute is one of the most performed operas in the world. According to Alfons Rosenberg, it is very interesting to examine all opera’s of Mozart and especially this opera, because of all the changes the opera had in the last 150 years. Not only from a technical view, but also from an artistic perspective, The Magic Flute is one of the most difficult opera’s. In the whole opera, there are fourteen stage-transformations and the opera has a lot of symbolic. Also the scenes with the magic bells, and in that sense the concept of acousmatic sound, are translated in very different ways to the stage. That is the reason, according to Rosenberg, why it is also interesting to examine different productions of The Magic Flute (Rosenberg 1965: 201).

In my essay, I will focus on the way the acousmatic sound of the magic bells is performed on stage in different productions. Are there differences in translating this concept of acousmatic sound to the stage in different productions of this opera? What exactly is the concept of acousmatic sound and what has the concept of ventriloquism to do with it? How can a libretto be translated to the stage? Are there differences in translating the concept of acousmatic sound? To make my argument, I will make use of these questions. On the basis of two different productions of the opera, I want to examine if there is a distinction in the way the concept acousmatic sound is performed. I will start with an explanation of the concept acousmatic sound as explained by Pierre Schaeffer and Michel Chion, and an explanation of the concept of ventriloquism of Steven Connor. I will also use the theory of Carolyn Abbate to make clear how these concepts are related to The Magic Flute. For that, I shall also explain something more about the opera itself and the ideas of Mozart. After that, I will focus on the theory of David Levin in accordance to translation to the stage. Before making a comparison between the two different productions, I will make an analysis of one scene from two different productions. The first production of The Magic Flute is a production of Opéra national de Paris (2001) in a direction of Benno Besson. The second production is from Internationale Opera Producties & Opera Nova-Bydgoszcz (2005) and the director was Matthias Remus. The two productions are different from each other in that sense that one is more like a fairy tale, while the other has characteristics of the Freemasonry. The scene of which I give an analysis, is the aria of Papageno in the second act: ‘Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen’ and in which he plays the magic bells. In my conclusion, I will intertwine the comparison between both productions and place this in the light of my theoretical concepts.

Acousmatic Sound and Ventriloquism

The term acousmatic is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘akousmatikoi’ and means ‘that what is heard’ (Cox 2005: 237). ‘Akousmatikoi’ has a reference to the disciples of Pythagoras in the sixth century Before Christ. They were made to listen to his voice, while he was hidden behind a curtain. Pythagoras wanted to be certain, that they were listening to his voice, in stead of being distracted from his words (237-8). In this case, the sound is separated from the (invisible) source of his speech.

The notion of ‘akousmatikoi’ is taken up as the acousmatic concept and introduced in media theory by the composer Pierre Schaeffer and filmmaker Michel Chion. Pierre Schaeffer "celebrated a defining property of audio recording and radio transmission: the ability to separate sounds from their visible sources" (Cox 237). He states that it is possible to listen to "sounds as such", without being distracted from a visible source (ibid.).

In his article "the three listening modes", filmmaker Michel Chion goes further into the connection of acousmatic listening and the visible image. Chion defines acousmatic listening as "a situation wherein one hears the sound without seeing its cause." (Chion 1994: 32). He states that "acousmatic sound draws our attention to sound traits normally hidden from us by the simultaneous sight of the causes – hidden because this sight reinforces the perception of certain elements of the sound and obscures others. The acousmatic truly allows sound to reveal itself in all its dimensions" (ibid.).

Although acousmatic sound in the first place handles about our auditory perception, Chion states that in practice it is more about the visible. When a listener is exposed to a sound of an invisible source, the first thing the listener will ask, is "Where does the sound come from?" or "What is the source of the sound?" The attention of the listener will than shift from the sound to the source; from the auditory perception to the visible perception (ibid.).

Pieter Verstraete (2008) also states in his paper "Distressing aural images on the fringe of the gaze" that "although acousmatization affects principally our auditory perception, it is defined in terms of its reliance on visuality in the first place, or rather, an absence in seeing" (5). Verstraete refers to Mladen Dolar and his claim that the acousmatic is part of every sound: the ‘ventriloquist’ nature of sound. This leads to the conclusion that disacousmatization does not exist. This claim causes further implications for sound as ‘object’ in the theatre. Through the acousmatic nature of sounds in the theatre, the listener, according to Dolar, is aware of the "natural placelessness, framelessness and restlessness, which invites the listener to resolve the auditory distress thus created through what the sounds mean to one’s auditory self" (Dolar, in Verstraete 5).

Next to the concept acousmatic sound, there is the concept ventriloquism. Steven Connor defines ventriloquism as "a practice of making voices appear to issue from elsewhere than their source" (2000: 13-4). He differentiates between an active and a passive form of ventriloquism, which depends upon "whether it is thought of as the power to speak through others or as the experience of being spoken through by others" (14). According to Connor, ventriloquism can be best understood in terms of the relations between vision and hearing. It is a phenomenon of sound, with the power to create specifically aural or vocal illusions: you hear a voice somewhere, but you do not know where it comes from (ibid.). An example of this is a puppeteer. The puppeteer can speak without moving his lips. The audience detects the sound of the voice from the mouth of the puppeteer, but only the mouth of the puppet is moving.

Whereas Chion’s concept of acousmatic sound is related to the cinema, ventriloquism in Connor’s sense is more or less related to the theatre. I am aware that the scope of Connor’s concept is much larger. But for this essay, I will use it in the line of theatre. Nevertheless, Chion’s and Connor’s concepts are related to each other. The concept of ventriloquism can help us to understand the concept of acousmatic sound in relation to The Magic Flute. As I mentioned before, in the scenes where Papageno uses his magic bells, he does not speak. It seems that the bells take over his voice. You could say that – in the example of the puppeteer - the magic bells are the puppet and Papageno is the puppeteer. The source of the sound is invisible, because the sound of the bells comes from somewhere else.

Acousmatic Sound in The Magic Flute

Carolyn Abbate (2001) states that the magic bells are an unnatural instrument, that – in combination with the singing of Papageno - produces unnatural effects. Papageno gets the magic bells from the Queen’s ladies in the quintet in the first act. The First Lady gives Papageno the bells with the words:

First Lady: "Here, take this little thing, it is yours!"

Papageno: "Oh, oh! What might be in there?"

Three Ladies: "From inside you will hear little bells ringing".

Papageno: "Can I play these bells as well?" (Mozart 2006: 20).

This passage gives interesting information about the magic bells. According to Abbate, the object of Papageno produces sound without a human performer needed to produce the sound. In the libretto, the instrument has two names. The original libretto calls it „eine Maschine wie ein hölzernes Gelächter" – literally „a machine like wooden laughter", but in the stage directions in the autograph score, the First Lady gives Papageno "ein stählnes Gelächter" (Abbate 2001: 78). In the libretto, I read for my essay, the explanation in the footnote refers to a "Glockenspiel" (Mozart 20). The sound of the magic bells was produced by an instrument in the wings. As the epigraph to my essay showed, Mozart himself played at 8 October 1791 this instrument. In the autograph, this instrument is called ‘Istromento d’acciaio’, a keyboard instrument with at least a "three-octave range, in which hammers struck metal bars. (…) The music of the magic bell is written for the keyboard with rapid arpeggio’s and chords that lie under both hands over more than two octaves" (Abbate 79).

According to Abbate, this distinction in the box itself – a box that hides what is inside - reflects another distinction. The music raise a keyboard instrument and hands playing on that instrument, but what you see on stage is Papageno striking the magic bells. The gestures of the hands of Papageno on the magic bells are different and, in that case, separated from that what you hear. The audience must assume that Papageno possesses an unknown musical instrument, because only in that way we can reunite gesture and sound (Abbate 70). In this, the concept of acousmatic sound already appears.

Further, Abbate states that the magic bells also reflect to another part of the body: his voice. When the magic bells produce sound, Papageno is quiet. It seems that the magic bells take over his voice. This is strange, because, in general, singing and playing (of music) appear on the same moment in an opera. So there is also a distinction between the voice and the magic bells. When the magic bells sounds in between the singing of Papageno, the magic bells are like a wind instrument: as if the music is a product of Papageno’s lungs. According to Abbate, this is an "extraordinary phenomenon, concealed in plain sight" (Abbate 77-85). In this opera of Mozart, the concept of acousmatic sound and ventriloquism are present, in that sense that the magic bells of Papageno produce sound and take over the voice of Papageno. However, it is clear that the magic bells do not produce the sound, so the source of the sound is hidden.

Mise-en-scene translated on Stage

But how can the phenomenon acousmatic sound be translated to the stage? It is interesting to enter into the details of this question, because in the last years opera has undergone some transformations: in the first place, from work to text, and recently, from text to performance. David Levin refers in defining the words ‘work’ and ‘text’ to Roland Barthes. Work is a "holistic item, a respectable, desirable object in cultural commerce; the text, on the other hand, is mobile, plural, and furtive, resistant to ready encapsulation and commodification." (David Levin, 3). The transformations of work and text in opera performance are a result of a reconceptualization; a result of a new framework for opera, which is created by Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker and exists of two important points. The first point focuses on performing canonical work in new ways. Abbate and Parker "signalled a determination to engage canonical works in novel ways" (Levin 2007: 2-3). This leads to Abbate and Parkers’ second point: the idea of the abnormal, imperfect, and logic characteristics of opera. It is hard to overstate this in terms of its distance prevailing critical paradigm in the musicology of the mid-1980s and in terms of the discussions that appear after that period (Levin 3).

In his book Unsettling Opera: Staging Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Zemlinsky (2007), David Levin examines what happens if opera’s from the canon are produced time and again. He states, that not only the reasons of Abbate and Parker are responsible for the new paradigm, but also innovations in the opera houses (Levin 4-5). Since the seventies, different opera houses share the thought to rethink about opera as spectacle. They want to think again about the central works of the repertoire "combined with an interest in previously unexplored formal conditions and thematic relations" (Levin 5). Levin states that this, in its turn, has an influence on the mise-en-scene and how operas are performed on stage (Levin 1-5).

According to Levin, there are two different kinds of texts: opera texts as libretto, score, or stage directions, and opera in performance, the performance text. The fidelity of translation of the libretto or score can be questioned in an opera text on a thematic level. In a performance text, on the contrary, the fidelity of translation can be questioned on a formal level. Levin states, that translation to the stage has a big risk: the audience can be disappointed when something is different then they have expected. However, to produce an opera in this new existing paradigm, can mean that you have to read and stage the texts in light of contemporary textual and cultural theory (Levin 11, 24, 33, 74).

The most fundamental aesthetic condition of opera is the "clash of systems" (Levin 26). In opera, different systems work together, each according to its own nature, and the result of this combination is enormous. These systems work together, because of the unruliness of opera. According to Levin, this is a result from "the combination of so many disparate expressive forms as well as the disparate forms within those forms" (Levin 26).

In translation studies, theatre is a less known arena. Patrice Pavis describes in his book Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture (1992) how you can use mise-en-scene as translation. According to him, there are three factors to take into consideration: the literary translator, the director and the actor. Their contribution must be incorporated in the much broader translation: mise-en-scene of a dramatic text. This exists of two factors. First, in theatre, the body of the actor is important to carry the translation to the audience. Second, it is not simple to translate a linguistic text into another. According to Pavis, you are always confronted with different cultures, separated in time and space (Pavis 1992: 136). So, the director can stipulate how actors move on stage, how they use props and how the ideas of the original libretto are translated to the stage. In my case study, for example, the director can stipulate how the concept acousmatic sound and the magic bells of Papageno are translated to the stage and what the role of the actor is in this.

On the question how a specific mise-en-scene is related to music, Levin refers to the German word Werktreue: "stage productions are generally expected to present the moment in a familiar form, to reproduce its reproduction" (Levin 81). However, Levin states that there has to be a consensus between musical expression and representation on the stage. Sometimes, as I said before, the director of an opera is dependant on contemporary textual and cultural theory in reading and staging texts (Levin 33, 81). The Magic Flute is a canonical work and in this case, both the musical score and the words are subject of a consensus of meaning and form, which has, in turn, expressed itself in a consensus of the way of presenting and conceiving a work (Levin 84). In the scenes of Papageno and the magic bells, music plays an important role. The sound of the magic bells is produced in the wings and it looks like as if the bells take over Papageno’s voice.

But how were the scenes of Papageno and his magic bells performed during the première? And what wrote Mozart about it in the original libretto? The autograph proves that Mozart worked out in detail the time the singer needed to make the shift between singing and playing the instrument. In the case of Tamino and the magic flute, this is clear. Surely, Tamino cannot sing and play on the flute at the same time. But with the magic bells of Papageno, this is different. Papageno is able to sing and play the instrument at the same time. Nevertheless, also for these scenes, Mozart calculated carefully the time needed to make a shift between singing and playing. In a letter to his wife, he wrote that he played the keyboard instrument – the instrument that made the music of the magic bells – by himself in the wings. It becomes clear, that Papageno did not produce the sound of the magic bells by himself. According to Hartmut Haenchen, it was Mozart’s wish to play the magical music, which had an enchanting effect on birds, on stage (Haenchen 1999: 28).

In the original textbook of The Magic Flute, there are two engravings of the opera. One engraving is of Papageno, a long man with a feather costume. He is wearing a feather crown and on his back he wears a bird cage. The second engraving of an underground vault is of Ignaz Alberti and is probably one of the places of the tests. It shows a highly decorated space, with some Egyptian images and baroque props. Although these two images appeared in the textbook of the première, it is not sure that this is how the stage looked. It is a notion of the way the librettist Schikaneder thought about the stage (Rosenberg 201-204).

The Magic Flute – Opéra national de Paris

In a production of The Magic Flute by Opéra national de Paris (2001), the stage is very colourful and highly decorated. For this production, the director Benno Besson, worked together with set- and costume director Jean-Marc Stehlé. Both like to make productions of childlike innocence. In the programme book of the opera, Besson answers on the question if this is naive:

"An encounter with reality, which is open and sensual, will work only if there is naïveté present. It is just like children. Children can assimilate an enormous amount and do so, moreover, with real depth. …Changes of scene and flying machines still exert the same childlike fascination on us today as they did on the audience of manual workers, tradesmen and their families who attended the work’s first performance" (Lang 2001: 6).

In this production, Papageno wears blue-green feathered pants and a vest. Under the vest he wears a grey t-shirt. He has a red and blue feather in his hair. On his neck, he carries a pan flute. This costume makes him look like a bird. The stage exists of pillars with a lattice-work and an opening in the middle. During the talking of Papageno in this scene, there comes a tray with a glass of wine out of the stage floor. This indicates, that Besson followed the original libretto, because the libretto shows, for example, that a big glass of red wine comes "aus der Erde" (out of the stage floor) (Mozart 60).

The magic instrument Papageno got from the three ladies, is a small, highly decorated box with a handle on one side. To play the instrument, Papageno has to turn the handle of the box. The sound that is produced, sounds like bells playing. But the music box is so small, that it is hard to believe that such a small box produces the sound like that. Although Papageno has to turn the handle to produce the sound, there are moments in this scene, in which Papageno does not move his hand, but the instrument is playing. This appears also in the other way around: Papageno turns the handle, but there is no sound. So his movements are not equal to the sound of the magic bells. This indicates that the sound of the instrument is not produced on stage. For the audience, it is clear that the music box does not produce the sound. In this case, the sound is separated from the visible source and this refers to the concept of acousmatic sound of Chion.

Not only by the movements of his hand, but also the way Papageno is acting, when the magic bells play, indicates that the sound is produced elsewhere and not by the magic bells itself. When he hears the music, he looks surprised around him in the air, like if the music comes from somewhere else. Then he looks to his magic bells, as if he cannot believe that the sound comes from the magic bells. This alternates and indicates also that the sound is produced somewhere else, but not by the magic bells itself.

In this scene, Papageno is singing about his desires: he wants a girl. When Papageno is singing, the magic bells are quiet, when Papageno is quiet, the bells are playing. In this last case, it is as if the magic bells take over his voice and express his desires even more. The magic bells are then a replacement of his voice: Connor’s concept of ventriloquism. As I mentioned before, in the concept of ventriloquism, a voice is made somewhere else. That is exactly what happens in this production of The Magic Flute. All in all, in this production of The Magic Flute, the concept of acousmatic sound is present.

The Magic Flute – Internationale Opera Producties & Opera Nova-Bydgoszcz

The director Matthias Remus did not want to make a fairy-tale like opera of this production of The Magic Flute by Internationale Opera Producties and Opera Nova (2005). He wanted to make a more adult production and he placed the opera in Mozart’s time with characteristics of Mozart himself (Korenhof 2005: 15-6). This is immediately perceptible. During the whole opera, the stage is the same: on old library with words like ‘wisdom’ and ‘reason’ above the four bookcases, a black and white coloured stage floor and costumes "from the time in which this opera is composed" (Korenhof 15). For example, Papageno wears a brown costume, with a white blouse, brown stockings and sandals. He does not look like a bird at all. The only prop he wears, is his pan flute.

Remus states that the characters in the opera’s of Mozart does not only know exclusivity: "How further you look inside them, how deeper you penetrate into the composition, how more you decode the musical and dramaturgic codes, the more the characters are present – with all their contradictions" (Korenhof 16). According to him, Papageno is not only the big child, with pubertal problems, but with more immersion and lots of contradictions. This idea is present in this production. First of all, it appears already in the brown costume – not childish colours - of Papageno and second in the way of acting of Papageno. In the scene "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen", Papageno wants to drink a glass of wine, but in opposition to the original libretto, he gets a whole bottle of wine. In the next aria, this bottle of wine is the most important prop. It seems that it is no longer only about his desire of a girl. This becomes also clear from the fact that two strophes of text are changed. In the original libretto, Papageno first sings about dying if he does not meet a girl and second, he sings about living, when he can kiss a girl. In this production, Papageno is drinking of the bottle of wine during the aria. This makes him think, that he is able to match with everyone and everything. As long as there is wine, he is living and he has confidence in finding a girl, but as soon as the bottle of wine is empty, he wants to die. So the second and third strophes of the aria are exchanged.

However, the biggest transformation of the original libretto in this scene is the absence of the magic bells of Papageno: there is no magical instrument, there are no magic bells. Papageno got the magic instrument - a big wooden box, with a kind of golden globe on top of it - from the three ladies, but he does not have it in this scene. The sound of the magic bells becomes a part of the orchestra. On stage, there are no specific indications of a source of that sound, not even the magic bells as source. Although the orchestra pit is producing music, on stage, there are no instruments visible, that can produce this sound. Not the sound of the magic bells, but the bottle of wine causes a magical effect on Papageno. The concept of acousmatic sound has totally disappeared in this production. There are no magic bells with a hidden source and the magic bells do not take over Papageno’s voice.


Since the seventies, opera houses started to rethink about opera’s of the canon and to combine opera’s with unexplored conditions and thematic relations. According to Levin, this rethinking has an influence on the mise-en-scene and the way opera’s are performed on stage. In opera, various aesthetic systems work together. To translate all these elements to stage, three factors are important: the literary translator, the director and the actor. According to Pavis, their contribution must be incorporated in the broader translation: mise-en-scene as translation. So not only the translation of the text, but also translation into staging is important. In my two case-studies, the staging of The Magic Flute is very different. Whereas the French production remained close to the original libretto of Mozart, the Dutch/Polish production was staged in a new way. In the French production, the stage is like a fairy-tale. It is very colourful and highly decorated and it changes during the play. The costumes are also very colourful. Papageno looks like a bird with all his feathers. In the Dutch/Polish production, during the whole play, the stage remains the same: an old library and Papageno appears as a ‘normal’ human being without any characteristics of a bird in his costume.

These differences in staging and costumes are not the only differences between both productions. In relation to this differences, there are also differences in the translation from the concept of acousmatic sound to the stage. As stated in my theoretic part about the concept of acousmatic sound and ventriloquism, acousmatic sound is sound or music you hear, but of which you cannot see the source. Ventriloquism, as defined by Steven Connor, is a practice of making a voice from another place than the apparent source. In the original libretto of Mozart, these concepts are present, in that sense that the magic bells of Papageno produce sound and the sound takes over the voice of Papageno. But it is clear that the magic bells do not produce the sound, and so the source of the sound is invisible. Also, the bells take over Papageno’s voice. When he hears the bells he cannot speak: the bells speak for him and in the libretto, there is enough time to make this transition.

In the two productions I analysed, the translation of the scene with the magic bells and the translation of the concept of acousmatic sound and ventriloquism is very different. In the French production, the acousmatic concept is clearly present in this specific scene. Papageno has a small music box, which produces the sound of the magic bells. It looks as if the music comes from the box, but the box is too small, to produce that sound. Also, Papageno’s hand movements are not equal to the music. Sometimes, he turns the handle of the magic bells, but there is no sound. This is also the other way around. It becomes clear, that the box with the magic bells is not the source of the sound. Also, the concept of ventriloquism in light of the concept of acousmatic sound is clear: the magic bells take over the voice of Papageno. He is quiet when the magic bells are playing. At those moments, the sound is the voice of his desires. Reason for the appearance of acousmatic sound, in my opinion, is that the director wanted to stay very close to the original libretto. And for that, he also let someone else produce the sound of the magic bells instead of Papageno himself.

In the second production, the Dutch/Polish production, the concepts of acousmatic sound and ventriloquism have disappeared in this specific scene. In this scene, Papageno has no magic bells at all. The sound of the magic bells became part of the sound of the orchestra. So the audience does not have to pay attention to a sound of which the source is invisible. Reason for this, is that the director did not want to make a fairy-tale like opera. He wanted to highlight the time of Mozart and for that he made changes to the libretto. This also resulted in skipping the use of the magic bells of Papageno in his aria.

So there are different ways in translating the concept of acousmatic sound to the stage. In the two discussed productions the differences are very apparant. In the French production, they remained closely to the original libretto, resulting, not only in staging and in costumes, but especially in using the magic bells of Papageno and the invisible source of the magic bells. In the aria of Papageno in the Dutch/Polish production, they skipped the use of the magic bells completely, because of other starting points of the production. It is interesting for a further examination to analyse another performance in which they do use the magic bells in the aria of Papageno. What do other directors do with this aria? Is and, when yes, how is the concept of acousmatic sound used in other opera’s of Mozart? Are there other productions in which the distinction between a hidden source and sound appears? How is it translated to the stage in those productions? 


Abbate, Carolyn. In Search of Opera. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Bruls, Willem. Opera in een notendop. Wat iedereen van de wereld van opera moet weten. Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2001.

Chion, Michel. "The Three Listening Modes." In Audio-vision: Sound on Screen, edited by Walter Murch and C. Gorbman. New York: Colombia University Press, 1994: 25-34.

Connor, Steven. "What I Say Goes." In Dumbstruck: A cultural History of Ventriloquism. Oxford: University Press, 2000.

Cox, Christoph. "Lost in Translation: Christopher Cox on Sound in the Discourse of Synaesthesia." In Artforum (2005): 237-241.

Haenchen, Helmut. "De autograaf van Die Zauberflöte, zijn geschiedenis en de gevolgen" in W.A. Mozart. Die Zauberflöte. Amsterdam: Stichting Het Muziektheater, 1999.

Korenhof, Paul. "Droomwegen en kennispaden. Vragen aan Matthias Remus over zijn regieconcept". Die Zauberflöte – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 2005.

Lang, Paul. "An Initiation into Mankind’s Maturity." Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Die Zauberflöte, 2001.

Levin, David. Unsettling Opera; Staging Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Zemlinsky. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Mozart, Wolfgang A. "8 Oktober 1791" In Mozart – Briefe und Aufzeichnungen; Band IV: 1787-1857, edited by Wilhelm A. Bauer en Otto E. Deutsch. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1963: 159-160.

———. Die Zauberflöte. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam, 2006.

Pavis, Patrice. Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture. London: Routledge, 1992.

Rosenberg, Alfons. De Zauberflöte – Oorsprong en betekenis van Mozart’s opera. Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1965.

Verstraete, Pieter. "Distressing Aural Images on the Fringe of the Gaze". Paper for the Orbis Pictus – Theatrum Mundi Conference. Amsterdam, 24-10-2008.

Performance Credits

Die Zauberflöte. Reg. Benno Besson, Scen. Emanuel Schikaneder, Act. Piotr Beczala, Dorothea Röschmann, Detlef Roth, Désirée Rancatore, Uwe Peper. Opera National de Paris, 2001.

Die Zauberflöte. Reg. Matthias Remus, Scen. Emanuel Schikaneder, Act. Hubert Claesens, Dariusz Pietrzykowski, Aleksander Zuchowicz, Katarzyna Oles-Blacha, Piotr Micinski. Internationale Opera Producties en Opera Nova – Bydgoszcz, 2005.

Last updated version: 16 March 2009

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