Toot the flute

Branagh filming Mozart opera

When Kenneth Branagh decides he’s going to go all arty on us, he doesn’t do things by halves. Not content with the likes of a four-hour Hamlet, he’s now preparing to shoot a cinematic version of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute.

The story concerns a young man spirited away to a magical realm, where he’s charged with rescuing the daughter of the Queen of the Night from the dark lord Sarastro. Yeah, that old story. And it is an old story – Mozart wrote it in 1791. Branagh’s film version updates the story to the eve of World War One and will feature a libretto written by Stephen Fry.

Here’s the really interesting bit: the film will shoot across six – count ‘em – soundstages at Shepperton in January.