An Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This was Mozart’s
last opera. It was produced at Vienna on September 30, 1791, and Mozart
died on December 5. The libretto was prepared by his friend Schickanede.
The story is based on circumstances connected with the worship of Isis,
the deity of the ancient Egyptians. Sarastro, the high priest of the
Temple of Isis, having borne away Pamina, the daughter of Astrifiammante,
the wicked Queen of Night, from her mother so that she may be taught in
the ways of virtue and wisdom. Tamino, an Egyptian prince is saved from
a serpent by the Queen’s servants. They show him a portrait of Pamina,
and he falls in love with her. He vows to rescue her.
He is presented with a magic flute, to give alarm and invoke assistance
in cases of peril. Papageno, the bird-catcher, who accompanies him, is
furnished with musical instruments which, when played, transform anger
into laughter and provoke a desire for dancing. Tamino, instead of
bringing back Pamina, becomes a noviate in the Temple; meets Pamina
there and marries her, while Papageno, also finds a mate.
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