An orchestra, all dressed in black, performs in the middle of a room. School pupils surround them, watching on.

Papageno and the Bird that Would Be Free

King’s Lynn residency with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), the Norfolk Music Hub (NMH) and Orchestras Live (OL)

The OAE are delighted to be returning to King’s Lynn for a residency in the Summer of 2023 to work on a project inspired by Mozart’s The Magic Flute called Papageno and the Bird that Would Be Free.

We are looking for six schools to join the project with KS1 pupils and three schools to join us with KS2 pupils. After a teacher training session, each school will receive a ½ day workshop in school led by two OAE players and then on July 4 there will be two separate concerts at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange

Papageno and the Bird That Would Be Free

In this concert, Kirsty is a bird. Tim is a bird catcher. Every day he must catch a new bird to take to the Queen for her collection. In return, she gives him food and drink. This is a good arrangement.

One day Tim catches Kirsty – and is going to take her to the Queen – but Kirsty does not want to be caught or to live in a palace. She wants to be free. Tim is frightened of the Queen, but is moved by Kirsty’s plight. He tries to let her free, but is caught by The Queen. She won’t let them off, but agrees to give them a chance to free themselves. First she challenges them to be silent, but Tim can’t manage it.

The Queen says that the challenges are over, but Kirsty begs for another chance. The Queen agrees, and gives them the trials of Fire and Water. She offers them weapons – a flute and some bells, everyone knows that they are doomed to fail. As they attempt the trials, at first they get nowhere, but then they decide to use their flute and bells – and the fire and water are calmed.

Their music has saved the day! Tim and Kirsty are set free, and Tim goes with Kirsty to live life as a bird, flying around the world.


What will pupils be doing?

  • Learning a newly composed song by James Redwood
  • Learning extracts from Mozart’s Magic Flute to sing with professional singers and the OAE
  • Creating body percussion for the fire and the water in the trials
  • Taking part in a workshop in school with 2 OAE players
  • Joining the OAE for an interactive concert


  • Tuesday 9 May 2023 4pm-5.30pm: Teacher Training session in King’s Lynn (full resources to be shared with teachers after the training session)
  • June 2023: ½ day workshop in each school (dates to be arranged at the training session)
  • Tuesday 4 July: CONCERT DAY!
    • 1pm- 2.30pm rehearsal and concert at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange for KS1 pupils
    • 4.30pm rehearsal and 6pm public concert at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange for KS2 pupils

What’s the cost?

We will be asking each school to contribute £200 to take part in this project and the remaining costs will be met by OL , the NMH and the OAE.


Please note the key stage 2 performance is fully booked. If you are a key stage 2 school who is interested in being involved please email to be added to the reserve list.

Registration closed. This event is now at full capacity.

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