Onstage stands a large white box. An old man gives the signal, and a great storm begins to rage, sinking a ship full of noblemen. The box opens and the party begins, with songs and props, puppets and masks, branches and costumes all helping to unfold the story of Prospero.
Once he was the powerful Duke of Milan, but then he was betrayed by his brother Antonio and by Alonso, King of Naples. They sent Prospero and his daughter Miranda out onto the wild seas and now his domain is a small magical island. When the ship carrying his enemies sails by, he sinks it with the help of Ariel, his loyal spirit. This is his chance for revenge. Now they are at his mercy and he torments them as they roam his island. But all the while he must also control his wild subject Caliban, who sees in the drunken mariners Stefano and Trinculo an unexpected key to freedom. And he also sees how Miranda falls head over heels in love with Ferdinand, the king’s young son. Their love and the future it promises soften Prospero’s heart. He breaks his magic wand and throws his books and the sea. Eye to eye with his brother, Prospero forgives him and releases Ariel. The box can be closed once more.