The Making of





Creating a Salzburg Street


You will never know it but when watching The Magic Flute and the characters are walking along a Salzburg street, they are actually at the Sullivan back lot in Toronto. But even more unbelievable is that this back lot used to be New Bedford, the fictional town where A Wind at my Back took place.

The back lot is simply fronts of shops, businesses and residences. When characters walk through the doors, the rest of the filming is done on set. For example, when Tom checks into the hotel in Salzburg, he walks down the sidewalk and through the door of the hotel. Then, as Tom walks into the lobby, a set shift has happened, as the hotel lobby is a set inside the studio.

Much work and attention to detail was done to make the street authentic. There is a florist, a chocolate shop, a cafe and an outdoor market. All signs are in Austrian. It really is quite a scene. Look out for it in the movie and remember that none of the buildings are more than a few feet deep. Ahhh, the magic of moviemaking!


In a cluttered studio hidden away in a charm less strip of Scarborough, director Kevin Sullivan is issuing instructions to singer Mireille Asselin as she tries to run across the set without tripping over her flowing gown: "You're in a world you have never seen before . . . You have to look up . . . over your left shoulder . . ." No wonder Asselin needs reminding of where she is. All she can see is the unadorned floor and walls of the set, painted a blinding shade of green.


The Magic Flute's all pervading themes of love and betrayal, reward and retribution, coupled with the encompassing power of Mozart's brilliant score have given rise to a unique motion picture in the hands of filmmaker Kevin Sullivan, set during Mozart's 250th birthday celebration year. Young virtuoso singer Tom (Warren Christie) is cast against his better judgment in the lead role of Tamino in the staging of The Magic Flute in Salzburg. Cast opposite Tom as Pamina, is a mysterious diva (Mireille Asselin) from Eastern Europe - a mysterious diva with whom Tom quickly falls in love. Nothing is as it seems and we soon learn that Tom's mysterious love interest is being held against her will in a lavish palace. Famed musicologist Dr. Richard Nagel has been forced to train her in The Magic Flute's arias. Sensing the danger that the diva is in, Dr. Nagel knows he must help her. He must shape her into the most mesmerizing Pamina Salzburg has ever heard. But the diva disappears, jeopardizing the premiere of the production and Tom's world careens out of control. He enters a world of intrigue and danger that is reflected in his on stage role in Mozart's classic fairytale. Tom finds his life and fortunes held hostage, as he is forced into a perilous world in order to save his co-star. The Magic Flute transports the audience into an elaborate musical spectacle that brings to life all of the extravagance of the 18th century with the energy of a contemporary pop video. It's a world that is exotic, thrilling and beautiful.

Written by Sullivan