Kenneth Branaghbegins principal photography on his $27m version of Mozart's The Magic Flute on23 January at Shepperton Studios.

For the first time for a British film, theproduction will occupy six of the major soundstages at the studio.

The film features a newly-adapted libretto byStephen Fry with musical director James Conlon conducting the Chamber Orchestraof Europe. The cast includes young opera stars including Joseph Kaiser, AmyCarson and Ben Davis.

Pierre-Olivier Bardetproduces through his company Ideale Audience, withStephen Wright as executive producer on behalf of the Peter MooresFoundation. International sales will be the tenth English language film handledby Celluloid Dreams.

"This is a very exciting departure for meas a filmmaker," said Branagh." Working with SirPeter Moores and his Foundation to help bring thismasterpiece to a different audience is an immense and.