Prop Design

Papageno, character of the Opera “The magic flute” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Personal project
Gothenburg, Sweden
March 2015

Idea description: Papageno is one of the main characters in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's famous opera The Magic Flute. He is the clumsy and comical bird catcher. He catches birds for The Queen of the Night with his magic bells and in return receives bread. He captures the birds in the cage he carries on his back. He is kind, talkative, and desperate to find love.

Papageno is typically shown with feathers and a large birdcage on his back, which is a rather literal execution of the description in the libretto.

My idea was to break with this "literal" aesthetic, which is why I designed an abstract prop-accessory with different sizes and colours of cones. The cones - and the way these are distributed - represent the feathers of a large bird with extended wings. They also allude to megaphones in the sense that they emit the sound from his magical bells - while at the same time symbolize how talkative he is. Lastly, the black inner parts of the cones act as the birdcage.