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The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute (German: Die Zauberflöte), K. 620, is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialogue.[1] The work premiered in 1791 at Schikaneder's theatre, the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna.


  • Composition 1
  • Premiere and reception 2
  • First publication 3
  • The Magic Flute and Freemasonry 4
  • Roles and instrumentation 5
  • Synopsis 6
    • Act 1 6.1
    • Act 2 6.2
  • Some musical numbers 7
  • Recordings 8
  • Works inspired by The Magic Flute 9
    • Sequels in literature and theatre 9.1
    • Art 9.2
    • Films 9.3
    • Books 9.4
    • Plays 9.5
    • Adaptations 9.6
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Emanuel Schikaneder, librettist of Die Zauberflöte, shown performing in the role of Papageno. The object on his back is a birdcage; see below.

The opera was the culmination of a period of increasing involvement by Mozart with Schikaneder's theatrical troupe, which since 1789 had been the resident company at the Theater auf der Wieden. Mozart was a close friend of one of the singer-composers of the troupe, tenor Benedikt Schack (the first Tamino), and had contributed to the compositions of the troupe, which were often collaboratively written. Mozart's participation increased with his contributions to the 1790 collaborative opera Der Stein der Weisen (The Philosopher's Stone), including the duet ("Nun liebes Weibchen", K. 625/592a) among other passages. Like The Magic Flute, Der Stein der Weisen was a fairy-tale opera and can be considered a kind of precursor; it employed much the same cast in similar roles.[2]

The libretto for The Magic Flute, written by Schikaneder, shares much of its plot and many of its characters with the Singspiel Oberon, written by Karl Ludwig Giesecke for the Schikaneder troupe two years earlier (and set to music by Paul Wranitzky) as a re-adaptation of Sophie Seyler's Singspiel Hüon und Amande.[3]

Mozart evidently wrote keeping in mind the skills of the singers intended for the premiere, which included both virtuosi and ordinary comic actors asked to sing for the occasion. Thus, the vocal lines for Papageno—sung by Schikaneder himself—and Monostatos (Johann Joseph Nouseul) are often stated first in the strings so the singer can find his pitch, and are frequently doubled by instruments. In contrast, Mozart's sister-in-law Josepha Hofer, who premiered the role of the Queen of the Night, evidently needed little such help: this role is famous for its difficulty. In ensembles, Mozart skillfully combined voices of different ability levels.

The pitch ranges of two of the original singers for whom Mozart tailored his music have posed challenges for many singers who have since recreated their roles. The Queen of the Night's "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" ("The vengeance of Hell boils in my heart") reaches a high F6,[4] rare in opera. At the low end, the part of Sarastro, premiered by Franz Xaver Gerl, includes a conspicuous F2 in a few locations.

Premiere and reception

The opera was premiered in Vienna on 30 September 1791 at the suburban Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden.[5] Mozart conducted the orchestra,[6] Schikaneder himself played Papageno, while the role of the Queen of the Night was sung by Mozart's sister-in-law Josepha Hofer.

On the reception of the opera, Mozart scholar Maynard Solomon writes:

Although there were no reviews of the first performances, it was immediately evident that Mozart and Schikaneder had achieved a great success, the opera drawing immense crowds and reaching hundreds of performances during the 1790s.[7]

The success of The Magic Flute lifted the spirits of its composer, who had fallen ill while in Prague a few weeks before. Solomon continues:

Mozart's delight is reflected in his last three letters, written to Constanze, who with her sister Sophie was spending the second week of October in Baden. "I have this moment returned from the opera, which was as full as ever", he wrote on 7 October, listing the numbers that had to be encored. "But what always gives me the most pleasure is the silent approval! You can see how this opera is becoming more and more esteemed." … He went to hear his opera almost every night, taking along [friends and] relatives.[7]

The opera celebrated its 100th performance in November 1792. Mozart did not have the pleasure of witnessing this milestone, as he had died 5 December 1791.

Since its premiere, The Magic Flute has always been one of the most beloved works in the operatic repertoire, and is presently the fourth most frequently performed opera world wide.[8]

First publication

On 28 December 1791, three and a half weeks after Mozart's death, his widow Constanze offered to send a manuscript score of The Magic Flute to the electoral court in Bonn. Nikolaus Simrock published this text in the first full-score edition (Bonn, 1814), claiming that it was "in accordance with Mozart's own wishes" (Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, 13 September 1815).[9][10]

The Magic Flute and Freemasonry

The Magic Flute is noted for its prominent Masonic elements. Schikaneder and Mozart were Masons and lodge brothers, as was Ignaz Alberti, engraver and printer of the first libretto.[11] The opera is also influenced by Enlightenment philosophy, and can be regarded as an allegory advocating enlightened absolutism. The Queen of the Night represents a dangerous form of obscurantism or, according to some, the anti-Masonic Roman Catholic Empress Maria Theresa,[12] or, according to others, the contemporary Roman Catholic Church itself,[13] which was also strongly anti-Masonic[13] (see Papal ban of Freemasonry). Her antagonist Sarastro symbolises the enlightened sovereign who rules according to principles based on reason, wisdom, and nature. The story itself portrays the education of mankind, progressing from chaos (the serpent) through religious superstition (the Queen and Ladies) to rationalistic enlightenment (Sarastro and Priests), by means of trial (Tamino) and error (Papageno), ultimately to make "the Earth a heavenly kingdom, and mortals like the gods" ("Dann ist die Erd' ein Himmelreich, und Sterbliche den Göttern gleich"); this couplet is sung in the finales to both acts.

Roles and instrumentation

Playbill for the premiere, 30 September 1791. For text, see footnote.[14]
Role Voice type Premiere cast, 30 September 1791
(conductor: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Tamino tenor Benedikt Schack
Papageno baritone Emanuel Schikaneder
Pamina soprano Anna Gottlieb
The Queen of the Night[15] coloratura soprano Josepha Hofer
Sarastro bass Franz Xaver Gerl
Three ladies 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano Mlle Klöpfer, Mlle Hofmann, Mme Elisabeth[16] Schack
Monostatos tenor Johann Joseph Nouseul
Three child-spirits treble, alto, mezzo-soprano[17] Anna Schikaneder; Anselm Handelgruber; Franz Anton Maurer
Speaker of the temple bass-baritone Herr Winter
Two priests tenor, bass Johann Michael Kistler, Urban Schikaneder
Papagena soprano Barbara Gerl
Two armoured men tenor, bass Johann Michael Kistler, Herr Moll
Three slaves 2 tenors, bass Karl Ludwig Giesecke, Herr Frasel, Herr Starke
Priests, women, people, slaves, chorus

The names of the performers at the premiere are taken from a preserved playbill for this performance (at right), which does not give full names; "Hr." = Herr, Mr.; "Mme." = Madame, Mrs.; "Mlle." = Mademoiselle, Miss.[18]

While the female roles in the opera are assigned to different voice types, the playbill for the premiere performance referred to all of the female singers as "sopranos". The casting of the roles relies on the actual vocal range of the part.[19]

These singers perform with an orchestra consisting of two flutes (one doubling on piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets (doubling basset horns), two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones (alto, tenor, and bass), timpani and strings. The work also requires a four-part chorus for several numbers (notably the finales of each act). Mozart also called for a stromento d'acciaio (instrument of steel) to perform Papageno's magic bells; an instrument which has since been lost to history, though modern day scholars believe it to be a keyed glockenspiel, which is usually substituted with a celesta instead in modern day performances.[20]


Act 1

Scene 1: A rough, rocky landscape

Tamino, a handsome prince lost in a distant land, is pursued by a serpent and asks the gods to save him (quartet: "Zu Hilfe! Zu Hilfe!"). He faints, and three ladies, attendants of the Queen of the Night, appear and kill the serpent. They find the unconscious prince extremely attractive, and each of them tries to convince the other two to leave. After arguing, they reluctantly decide to leave together.

Tamino wakes. Papageno enters dressed as a bird. He describes his life as a bird-catcher, complaining he has no wife or a girlfriend (aria: "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja"). Tamino introduces himself to Papageno, thinking Papageno killed the serpent. Papageno happily takes the credit – claiming he strangled it with his bare hands. The three ladies suddenly reappear and place a padlock over his mouth as a warning not to lie. They give Tamino a portrait of the Queen of the Night's daughter Pamina, with whom Tamino falls instantly in love (aria: "Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön" / This image is enchantingly lovely).

The arrival of the Queen of the Night. Stage set by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841) for an 1815 production

The ladies return and tell Tamino Pamina has been captured by Sarastro, a supposedly evil sorcerer. Tamino vows to rescue Pamina. The Queen of the Night appears and promises Tamino that Pamina will be his wife if he will rescue her from Sarastro (Recitative and aria: "O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn" / Oh, tremble not, my dear son!). The Queen leaves and the ladies remove the padlock from Papageno's mouth with a warning not to lie any more. They give Tamino a magic flute which has the power to change sorrow into joy. They tell Papageno to go with Tamino, and give him (Papageno) magic bells for protection. The ladies introduce three child-spirits, who will guide Tamino and Papageno to Sarastro's temple. Together Tamino and Papageno set forth (Quintet: "Hm! Hm! Hm! Hm!").

Scene 2: A room in Sarastro's palace

Pamina is dragged in by Sarastro's slaves. Monostatos, a blackamoor and chief of the slaves, orders the slaves to untie her and leave him alone with her. Papageno, sent ahead by Tamino to help find Pamina, enters (Trio: "Du feines Täubchen, nur herein!"). Monostatos and Papageno are each terrified by the other's strange appearance and both flee. Papageno returns and announces to Pamina that her mother has sent Tamino to save her. Pamina rejoices to hear that Tamino is in love with her. She offers sympathy and hope to Papageno, who longs for a wife. Together they reflect on the joys and sacred duties of marital love (duet: "Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen").

Finale. Scene 3: A grove in front of a temple

The three child-spirits lead Tamino to Sarastro's temple, promising that if he remains patient, wise and steadfast, he will succeed in rescuing Pamina. Tamino approaches the left-hand entrance and is denied access by voices from within. The same happens when he goes to the entrance on the right. But from the entrance in the middle, an old priest appears and lets Tamino in. (The old priest is referred to as "The Speaker" in the libretto, but his role is a singing role.) He tells Tamino that Sarastro is benevolent, not evil, and that he should not trust the Queen of the Night. Tamino plays his magic flute. Animals appear and dance, enraptured, to his music. Tamino hears Papageno's pipes sounding offstage, and hurries off to find him.

Papageno and Pamina enter, searching for Tamino. They are recaptured by Monostatos and his slaves. Papageno plays his magic bells, and Monostatos and his slaves begin to dance, and exit the stage, still dancing, mesmerised by the beauty of the music ("Das klinget so herrlich"). Papageno and Pamina hear the sound of Sarastro's retinue approaching. Papageno is frightened and asks Pamina what they should say. She answers that they must tell the truth. Sarastro enters, with a crowd of followers.

Pamina falls at Sarastro's feet and confesses that she tried to escape because Monostatos had forced his attentions on her. Sarastro receives her kindly and assures her that he wishes only for her happiness. But he refuses to return her to her mother, whom he describes as a proud, headstrong woman, and a bad influence on those around her. Pamina, he says, must be guided by a man.

Monostatos brings in Tamino. The two lovers see one another for the first time and embrace, causing indignation among Sarastro's followers. Monostatos tells Sarastro that he caught Papageno and Pamina trying to escape, and demands a reward. Sarastro, however, punishes Monostatos for his lustful behaviour toward Pamina, and sends him away. He announces that Tamino must undergo trials of wisdom in order to become worthy as Pamina's husband. The priests declare that virtue and righteousness will sanctify life and make mortals like gods ("Wenn Tugend und Gerechtigkeit").

Act 2

Scene 1: A grove of palms

The council of priests of Isis and Osiris, headed by Sarastro, enters to the sound of a solemn march. Sarastro tells the priests that Tamino is ready to undergo the ordeals that will lead to enlightenment. He invokes the gods Isis and Osiris, asking them to protect Tamino and Pamina (Aria: "O Isis und Osiris").

Scene 2: The courtyard of the Temple of Ordeal

Tamino and Papageno are led in by two priests for the first trial. The two priests advise Tamino and Papageno of the dangers ahead of them, warn them of women's wiles and swear them to silence (Duet: "Bewahret euch von Weibertücken"). The three ladies appear and tempt Tamino and Papageno to speak. (Quintet: "Wie, wie, wie") Papageno cannot resist answering the ladies, but Tamino remains aloof, angrily instructing Papageno not to listen to the ladies' threats and to keep quiet. Seeing that Tamino will not speak to them, the ladies withdraw in confusion.

Scene 3: A garden, Pamina asleep

Pamina is asleep. Monostatos approaches and gazes upon her with rapture. (Aria: "Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden") He is about to kiss the sleeping Pamina, when the Queen of the Night appears. She gives Pamina a dagger, ordering her to kill Sarastro with it and threatening to disown her if she does not. (Aria: "In diesen heil'gen Hallen").

Scene 4: A hall in the Temple of Ordeal

Tamino and Papageno are led in by priests, who remind them that they must remain silent. Papageno complains of thirst. An old woman enters and offers Papageno a cup of water. He drinks and teasingly asks whether she has a boyfriend. She replies that she does and that his name is Papageno. She disappears as Papageno asks for her name, and the three child-spirits bring in food, the magic flute, and the bells, sent from Sarastro. Tamino begins to play the flute, which summons Pamina. She tries to speak with him, but Tamino, bound by his vow of silence, cannot answer her, and Pamina begins to believe that he no longer loves her. (Aria: "Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden") She leaves in despair.

Scene 5: The pyramids

The priests celebrate Tamino's successes so far, and pray that he will succeed and become worthy of their order (Chorus: "O Isis und Osiris"). Pamina is brought in and Sarastro instructs Pamina and Tamino to bid each other farewell before the greater trials ahead. (Trio: Sarastro, Pamina, Tamino – "Soll ich dich, Teurer, nicht mehr sehn?" Note: In order to preserve the continuity of Pamina's suicidal feelings, this trio is sometimes performed earlier in Act 2, preceding or immediately following Sarastro's aria "O Isis und Osiris".[21][22]) They exit and Papageno enters. The priests grant his request for a glass of wine and he expresses his desire for a wife. (Aria, Papageno: "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen"). The elderly woman reappears and warns him that unless he immediately promises to marry her, he will be imprisoned forever. When Papageno promises to love her faithfully (muttering that he will only do this until something better comes along), she is transformed into the young and pretty Papagena. Papageno rushes to embrace her, but the priests drive him back, telling him that he is not yet worthy of her.

Finale. Scene 6: A garden

Tamino and Pamina undergo their final trial; watercolor by Max Slevogt (1868–1932)

The three child-spirits hail the dawn. They observe Pamina, who is contemplating suicide because she believes Tamino has abandoned her. The child-spirits restrain her and reassure her of Tamino's love. (Quartet: "Bald prangt, den Morgen zu verkünden").

Scene change without interrupting the music, to Scene 7: Outside the Temple of Ordeal

Two men in armor lead in Tamino. They recite one of the formal creeds of Isis and Osiris, promising enlightenment to those who successfully overcome the fear of death ("Der, welcher wandert diese Strasse voll Beschwerden"). This recitation takes the musical form of a Baroque chorale prelude, to the tune of Martin Luther's hymn "Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein" (Oh God, look down from heaven).[23] Tamino declares that he is ready to be tested. Pamina calls to him from offstage. The men in armour assure him that the trial by silence is over and he is free to speak with her. Pamina enters and declares her intention to undergo the remaining trials with him. She hands him the magic flute to help them through the trials ("Tamino mein, o welch ein Glück!"). Protected by the music of the magic flute, they pass unscathed through chambers of fire and water. Offstage, the priests hail their triumph and invite the couple to enter the temple.

Scene change without interrupting the music, to Scene 8: A garden with a tree

Papageno despairs at having lost Papagena and decides to hang himself (Aria/Quartet: "Papagena! Papagena! Papagena!") The three child-spirits appear and stop him. They advise him to play his magic bells to summon Papagena. She appears and, united, the happy couple stutter in astonishment. They plan their future and dream of the many children they will have together (Duet: "Pa … pa … pa ...").[24]

Scene change without interrupting the music, to Scene 9: A rocky landscape outside the temple; night

The traitorous Monostatos appears with the Queen of the Night and her three ladies. They plot to destroy the temple ("Nur stille, stille") and the Queen confirms that she has promised her daughter Pamina to Monostatos. But before the conspirators can enter the temple, they are magically cast out into eternal night.

Scene change without interrupting the music, to Scene 10: The Temple of the Sun

Sarastro announces the sun's triumph over the night. Everyone praises the courage of Tamino and Pamina, gives thanks to Isis and Osiris and hails the dawn of a new era of wisdom and brotherhood.

Some musical numbers

Problems playing these files? See .

Act 1

  • "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja" (The birdcatcher am I) – Papageno, scene 1
  • "O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn" (Oh, tremble not, my beloved son) – The Queen of the Night, scene 1
  • "Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön" (This image is enchantingly beautiful) – Tamino, scene 1
  • "Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton" (How strong is thy magic tone) – Tamino, finale

Act 2

  • "O Isis und Osiris" (O Isis and Osiris) – Sarastro, scene 1
  • "Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden" (All feel the joys of love) – Monostatos, scene 3
  • "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" (Hell's vengeance boils in my heart) – The Queen of the Night, scene 3
  • "In diesen heil'gen Hallen" (Within these sacred halls) – Sarastro, scene 3
  • "Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden" (Ah, I feel it, it is vanished) – Pamina, scene 4
  • "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" (A girl or a woman) – Papageno, scene 5
  • "Pa–, pa–, pa–" – Papageno and Papagena, scene 10


The first recording of The Magic Flute was of a performance at the 1937 Salzburg Festival, with Arturo Toscanini conducting the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera. The first studio recording of the work, with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, was completed in 1938. Both of these historic recordings have been reissued on modern recording media. Since then there have been many recordings, in both audio and video formats.[25][26]

Works inspired by The Magic Flute

Sequels in literature and theatre

There are two sequels named The Magic Flute's Second Part: the first a fragment by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, intended to set in music by Paul Wranitzky, the second is an opera: Das Labyrinth oder Der Kampf mit den Elementen (The labyrinth or the struggle with the elements), a Singspiel in two acts composed in 1798 by Peter von Winter to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto of The Magic Flute.




  • Amano,Yoshitaka, Mateki: The Magic Flute, an adaptation of the opera illustrated by himself and retold using classic Japanese elements.
  • Bradley, Marion Zimmer, Night's Daughter, a novel based on The Magic Flute, 1985. It sets the story in an Atlantis-like world with human-animal hybrid creatures. Bradley enthusiastically agrees with Bergman that Sarastro is Pamina's father.
  • Dickinson, G. Lowes's The Magic Flute: A Poetic Fantasy, 1920, reinterprets the story as a parable of civilization after World War I.[31]
  • Dokey, Cameron, Sunlight and Shadow, (part of the Once Upon A Time series), 2004, a retelling of The Magic Flute for teen readers; Dokey's novel also states that Sarastro is Pamina's father.
  • Ibbotson, Eva, Magic Flutes, a teen romance period novel, centred around the Viennese opera, and the main performance of The Magic Flute
  • Russell, P. Craig's The Magic Flute, a graphic novel published in 1990 as part of the author's Library of Operatic Adaptation.
  • Trapido, Barbara, Temples of Delight, 1990. A novel which, though set in contemporary England, takes its structure very loosely from The Magic Flute. Characters in the novel are analogous to Pamina, Tamino, Papageno and Sarastro although the novel strays heavily from the original plot with the 'Pamina' character ultimately rejecting 'Tamino' in favour of a romantic relationship with 'Sarastro'.
  • Updike, John, A children's book based on The Magic Flute, 1962.



  • Arctic Magic Flute is an English-language adaptation of the opera, set in rural Alaska.
  • Pamina Devi is the Cambodian classical dance adaptation of The Magic Flute. However, it is not entirely based on the same plot and includes elements foreign to the original.
  • Guitarist and composer Fernando Sor transcribed "Six Airs from The Magic Flute", Op. 19, for solo guitar around 1820–1821 and wrote his Introduction and Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9, on the aria "Das klinget so herrlich", or as Sor called it, "O cara armonia".
  • Beethoven wrote a sets of variations for violoncello and piano for two numbers from the opera. His twelve variations in F major on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" is catalogued as Op. 66 and his seven variations in E-flat major on "Bei Männern" is catalogued as WoO 46.
  • "Away with Melancholy" was a popular duet first published in London in the early 1790s, and reprinted in America from 1797 on. The music is adapted from "Die Zauberflöte" act 1 finale. [32]
  • Flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal made a transcription of three arias from the opera.
  • The Canadian national anthem, "O Canada", by Calixa Lavallée was based on the beginning of "March of the Priests."[33]
  • The Brazilian group Grupo Giramundo (pt) adapted the play for the puppet theatre in 1991 (A Flauta Mágica).[34]

See also



  1. ^ The genre of the work is hard to specify. The programme at the premiere performance announced it as a "grand opera" (German "grosse Oper"). Mozart entered the work in his personal catalog as a "German opera", and the first printed libretto called it a Singspiel (Berger and Foil 2007:11).
  2. ^ Source for this paragraph: Buch (1997)
  3. ^ Giesecke did not credit Seyler, but it soon became evident that his work was based on Seyler, and he later came under much criticism for plagiarism. Many years later Giesecke claimed to have written the Magic Flute libretto; for discussion see Karl Ludwig Giesecke.
  4. ^ See Scientific pitch notation
  5. ^ The Magic Flute
  6. ^ This is known from testimony by Ignaz von Seyfried (1776–1841), a composer who later (1798) became the musical director at the same theater. According to Seyfried's memories (which he published in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, vol. 12, 5 June 1840, p. 184), "[Mozart] personally directed the premiere there on 30 September 1791, at which Süßmayr, the faithful Pylades, sat to his right, diligently turning the pages of the score." The description implies that Mozart was seated at a keyboard instrument, playing along with the orchestra, rather than standing on a podium with a baton; this was fairly standard practice for conductors in Mozart's time. (Source: Buch 2005.)
  7. ^ a b Solomon (1995), 487
  8. ^ "Opera Statistics". Operabase. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  9. ^ First full-score edition (Bonn, 1814) at Harvard University Library
  10. ^ See Freyhan, p. ? 2009
  11. ^ Illustrations in the original 1791 libretto
  12. ^ Condee, Newcomb. "The Magic Flute"Brother Mozart and . Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  13. ^ a b (1996), p. 91. ISBN 1853263702The Wordsworth Book of OperaArthur Jacobs, Stanley Sadie:
  14. ^ I[mperial] & R[oyal] priv[ileged] Wieden Theater / Today, Friday 30 September 1791. / The Actors of the Imperial and Royal Privileged Theater on the Wieden will have the honor to perform / For the first time: / Die Zauberflöte. / A grand opera in 2 acts, by Emanuel Schikaneder. / Characters. / Sarastro. … Hr. Gerl. / Tamino. … Hr. Schack. / Speaker. … Hr. Winter / {First, Second, Third} priest {…} {Hr. Schikaneder the elder. Hr. Kistler. Hr. Moll.} / Queen of the Night … Mad. Hofer. / Pamina, her daughter. … Mlle. Gottlieb. / {First, Second, Third} lady. … {Mlle. Klöpfer. Mlle. Hofmann. Mad. Schack.} / Papageno. … Hr. Schikaneder the younger. / An old woman [i.e., Papagena]. … Mad. Gerl. / Monostatos a Moor. … Hr. Nouseul. / {First, Second, Third} slave. … {Hr. Gieseke. Hr. Frasel. Hr. Starke.} / Priests, slaves, retinue. / The music is by Herr Wolfgang Amade Mozart, Kapellmeister, an actual I[mperial] and R[oyal] Chamber Composer. Herr Mozart, out of respect for a gracious and honourable public, and from friendship for the author of this piece, will today direct the orchestra in person. / The book of the opera, furnished with two copper-plates, on which is engraved Herr Schikaneder in the costume he wears for the role of Papageno, may be had at the box office for 30 kr[eutzer]. / Herr Gayl, theater painter, and Herr Nesslthaler as designer, flatter themselves that they have worked with the utmost artistic zeal according to the prescribed plan of the piece. / Prices of admission are as usual. / To begin at 7 o' clock. (According to English translation from Deutsch (1965, 407–408).)
  15. ^ The Queen is sometimes referred to by the name "Astrifiammante", an Italian translation of the German adjective "sternflammende" ("star-blazing") in the original libretto.
  16. ^  
  17. ^ The three child-spirits are often portrayed by young boy singers but also sometimes by mature women, particularly in studio recordings.
  18. ^ Playbill information taken from the Web site of Stanford University, which cites Branscombe 1991.
  19. ^ For relevant discussion see Boldrey and Caldwell (1995).
  20. ^ "The otherworldly feeling of Mozart's magic" by Louise Schwartzkoff, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 July 2009
  21. ^ For instance, in the videotaped performance from the Bayerisches Staatsoper, Munich, September 19th, 1983, available from Deutsche Grammophon.
  22. ^ by David Cairns, University of California Press, 2006, p. 220 footnoteMozart and his Operas
  23. ^ Heartz (2007, 284). The hymn was translated by Martin Luther in 1524 from the eleventh Psalm.
  24. ^ For the origin of this duet, see Emanuel Schikaneder.
  25. ^ "Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620 (The Magic Flute)". Presto Classical. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  26. ^ Gruber, Paul (ed.) (1993). The Metropolitan Guide to Recorded Opera. London: Thames and Hudson.  
  27. ^ (VHS, 1992)"Die Zauberflöte". Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  28. ^ Sunier, John (5 December 2006). (complete opera)"The Magic Flute"Mozart: . Audiophile Audition. Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  29. ^ The Magic Flute"Operavox" (DVD). London: Metrodome Distribution. 17 February 1995. 
  30. ^ "Branagh to make Mozart opera film". BBC News. 1 November 2005. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  31. ^ a b Branscombe, Peter (1991). W. A. Mozart, Die Zauberflöte. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 167.  
  32. ^ Mattfeld, Julius (1971). Variety Music Cavalcade. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.  
  33. ^  
  34. ^ Grupo Giramundo productions


  • Berger, William and David Foil (2006) The Magic Flute (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Black Dog Publishing. ISBN 1-57912-759-2.
  • Boldney, Richard and Robert Caldwell (1994) "Voice Categories", in Richard Boldrey, Guide to Operatic Roles & Arias. Dallas: Pst Inc., ISBN 1-877761-64-8.
  • Branscombe, Peter (1991) Die Zauberflöte, Cambridge Opera Handbooks series, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-31916-1
  • Buch, David J. (1997) "Mozart and the Theater auf der Wieden: New attributions and perspectives," Cambridge Opera Journal 9: 195–232.
  • Buch, David J. (2004) "Die Zauberflöte, Masonic Opera, and Other Fairy Tales", Acta Musicologica 76, (Kassel etc.: Bärenreiter), 2:193–219, debunking most of the alleged masonic allusions.
  • Buch, David J. (2005) "Three posthumous reports concerning Mozart in his late Viennese years," Eighteenth-Century Music 2:125–129.
  • Chailley, Jacques (1992) The Magic Flute Unveiled: Esoteric Symbolism in Mozart's Masonic Opera, an analysis of masonic and esoteric symbolism of the opera.
  • Deutsch, Otto Erich (1965) Mozart: A Documentary Biography. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Freyhan, Michael (2009) The Authentic Magic Flute Libretto: Mozart's Autograph or the First Full-Score Edition? Scarecrow Press.
  • Heartz, Daniel (2007) Haydn, Mozart, and Early Beethoven: 1781–1802. New York: Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-06634-0
  • Melitz, Leo (1921) The Opera Goer's Complete Guide, source for plot summary given here.
  • Solomon, Maynard (1995) Mozart: A Life. New York: Harper Perennial.
  • Der Zauberflöte zweyter Theil unter dem Titel: Das Labyrinth oder der Kampf mit den Elementen. Eine große heroisch-komische Oper in zwey Aufzügen von Emanuel Schikaneder. In Musik gesetzt von Herrn Peter Winter, Kapellmeister in Churpfalz-bayrischen Diensten. Vollständiges Textbuch. Erstveröffentlichung nach den zeitgenössischen Quellen und mit einem Nachwort ed. by Manuela Jahrmärker and Till Gerrit Waidelich, Hans Schneider Tutzing 1992.

External links

  • Die Zauberflöte: Score and critical report (German) in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe
  • Die Zauberflöte. Facsimile of Mozart's autograph
  • Die Zauberflöte: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project
  • Opera Guide, Synopsis, libretto, highlights
  • Opera in a nutshell" Soundfiles (MIDI)
  • Libretto and English translation from
  • Frontispiece of the first edition libretto
  • Brief programme notes from recent Opera Gold production, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • San Diego OperaTalk! with Nick Reveles: Mozart's The Magic Flute, UC-TV and San Diego Opera
  • (German) The Magic Flute opera
  • High Definition Version AAC – MP3
  • The Magic Flute: live performances
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