The online opera guide to DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE

Mozart finished the work in September of 1791, the year of his death, and by November he was already in bed sick and died on December 5. It is inconceivable that this magnificent opera was written in the shadow of his death. The Magic Flute became the most frequently performed opera in the entire repertoire in the 20th century and its popularity is unbroken.









Act I (The valley scene, The search scene)

Act II (The temple scene/ Tria-scene)

Recording Recommendation


Der Vogelsänger bin ich ja (Papageno’s Aria)

Dies Bildnis ist wunderschön  (Picture Aria, Pamino)

Hm! Hm! Hm!

In diesen Heiligen Hallen (Sarastro’s Aria)

Der Hölle Rache (Queen’s Aria)

Ach, ich fühl’s (Pamina’s Aria)

Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen

Pa Pa Pa Papageno (Papageno / Papagena Duett)









Vienna, 1791


Emanuel Schikaneder, based on a collection of fairy tales by Christoph Martin Wieland (including fairy tales by August Jacob Liebeskind).


Tamino, Prince - Sarastro, Head of Order - Queen of the Night, Queen and Mother of Pamina - Pamina, Princess - Papageno, Bird Seller - Monostatos, Overseer in the Temple of Sarastro.


EMI, Gundula Janowitz, Nicolai Gedda, Walter Berry, Lucia Popp and Gottlob Frick conducted by Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus.












The story of the Magic Flute is based on a collection of fairy tales by a poet named Wieland. These stories were popular in Mozart’s time and Wieland was one of Mozart’s father’s favorite authors. Emanuel Schikaneder, a theater entrepreneur and a friend of Mozart’s, created a libretto from them, but also interwoven other stories and his own ideas into the plot of the Magic Flute. The interpretation of the work has long been the subject of discussion. There are few comments from Schikaneder and Mozart on this libretto with its many allusive plots. The various sources of the libretto and the lack of comments by the authors Mozart and Schikaneder make an interpretation of the poem Magic Flute difficult and so experts are still arguing about the correct interpretation.



The riddle of the interpretation of the Magic Flute

The original tale described the queen as a good fairy and Sarastro as an evil demon. The greatest question of interpretation lies in the break in the plot from the first to the second act, where the queen suddenly becomes an imperson and Sarastro a figure of light. It was she who in the first act sent the three boys to show Tamino the way to Pamina. In the second act, however, the three boys obey their arch-enemy Sarastro and lead Tamino to the initiation ritual. Why did Mozart and Schikaneder change the plot? Probably the reason was to be found in the theme of Freemasonry. For this train of thought, one must know that the deceased husband of the queen had given the power (symbolized by the circle of the sun) to Sarastro and not to his wife. Why? Because he did not trust her? This aspect could be reinterpreted to the political situation of the time of composition of the Magic Flute. The fact is that one year before work on the Magic Flute began, Emperor Joseph II, an enlightened, art-loving monarch and patron of Mozart, had died. The scepter passed to Leopold, who reversed some of Joseph II’s reforms and was indifferent to the arts. Thus, the Magic Flute can be interpreted to mean that the imperial crown was not to be given to the natural heir to power (Leopold, respectively Queen of the Night), but to the most capable (Sarastro). This interpretation takes on an additional flavor, since Leopold died a year after the premiere of the Magic Flute. The cause of death is unclear. In many cases, poisoning by Freemasons was suspected. Interestingly, there are no comments on Freemasonry in the press reviews of The Magic Flute in the weeks of the premiere.



The theme of freemasonry

Mozart had joined a Viennese lodge in 1784 and thus became the lodge brother of Emanuel Schikaneder. Mozart was an active lodge brother and knew their rituals. He identified himself with the message of the Freemasons, which was influenced by the Enlightenment, in which man has to go through a purification process in which light (Sarastro) defeats the dark (Queen of the Night). The morality of the final chorus “Strength conquers and crowns with its rewards, beauty and wisdom with an eternal crown” corresponds almost literally to a moral text of the Freemasons. To underline the importance of this theme, we hear the three famous chords right at the beginning as an opening fanfare in the Overture. The number “three” plays an important role in this opera and we will often come back to this number, which is important in Freemasonry.(In Pompeii, Mozart found inspiration for the Temple of Sarastro when he was 12 years old)



The Genre

Formally the Magic Flute can be assigned to the German Singspiel. The main attributes of this genre were the spoken dialogues (as opposed to the accompanied recitatives in the opera) and the choice of themes from the fairytale world (as opposed to historical themes in the opera). For decades the Singspiel was the predominant genre in German-speaking countries. But the “magic flute” is also full of contrasts. In this opera, Mozart wrote serious scenes alongside comic ones, folk music alongside heavy coloratura arias and bel canto music alongside German Singspiel.


History and premiere

Mozart began work on the “Magic Flute” in the spring of 1791, interrupted it in July and wrote “la clemenza di Tito” in a short time, and then completed the Work within a few weeks in September 1791. The premiere was on September 30th in Schikaneder’s Theater auf der Wieden. Mozart’s sister-in-law Josepha Hofer sang the Queen, Mozart conducted and Schikaneder played Papageno. The Magic Flute was a great success and was performed twenty times in the same season. Mozart attended many performances in October and was pleased that after a long time he was able to celebrate another public success with a work. In November he was already in bed sick and died on December 5.











The three chords of the overture

Right at the beginning we hear the three famous chords as opening fanfare. The number three plays an important role in this opera and in the section on Sarastro’s hall aria we will talk about this important number in the rituals of Freemasons.

The Overture to the Magic Flute is not a typical opera prelude. Actually, the audience of that time would have expected a cheerful roundup of the opera’s melodies, but Mozart lets us know with the overture that the listener can expect a “great opera”,  which is turbulent, but in which serious themes are addressed.

Ouvertüre  –  Muti


Pamino is pursued by the serpent.

Synopsis: Tamino, a prince, is lost in a rocky landscape. He is looking for Pamina. A serpent has been following him for some time and he collapses out of exhaustion. Three ladies kill the serpent and save Tamino from death. They were sent by the queen to protect Tamino. They argue about who is allowed to stay with the unconscious handsome one. Finally they leave together to inform the queen of his presence.

Tamino is a young, searching man. The Zauberflöte is about his maturation.  The serpent can be interpreted symbolically as temptation. Originally a lion was intended. But due to the proximity to the name of the reigning king Leopold, censorship was feared. With all the dangerousness of the animals, Pamino does not cut a good figure as a hero. First he screams for help, then he faints and is rescued by women…

Also the three Ladies (again the 3) don’t cut a good figure after the rescue, soon they quarrel about who is allowed to stay with Pamino. The bickering is occasionally commented maliciously by chattering woodwind players.

We hear the opening scene in a version of the Salzburgerfestspiele with three pretty ladies dressed in loden costumes.

Zu Hilfe


A second version with the luxury cast of the three Ladies with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Christa Ludwig and Marga Höffgen in the famous Klemperer recording.

Zu Hilfe –  Klemperer


Papageno’s famous aria

Synopsis: When Pamino awakes, the bird catcher Papageno appears. He is on his way to deliver the ordered birds to the queen of the night.

Papageno is a fairy tale figure who seems to be half bird, half man. He stands for the simple man of the people. Everything about him is folksy. His verses are in simple strophic form and words like “heissa hopsasa” emphasize the popularity. For many, Papageno is the real star of the opera, who differs with a portion of wit from the deadly serious Tamino.


Herrmann Prey was a famous Papageno. He divided the audience into two camps, some of them found his performances funny and charming, others rather chummy.

Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja  –  Prey


Walter Berry was together with Erich Kunz the most famous Papageno after the war. Both were Viennese originals.

Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja  –  Berry / Böhm


The famous portrait Aria

Synopsis: Tamino wants to meet the mysterious queen and Papageno tells him that no one has ever seen her before. And he also claims to have killed the serpent. At that moment the ladies come back and seal the mouth of the lying Papageno with a lock. They show Pamino a picture of Pamina, the queens daughter, whereupon Pamino falls in love with her immediately.

Mozart did not make a show piece out of the great aria of Tamino. It demands a lyrical, tender voice that embodies a noble love, reservedly accompanied by the orchestra. Mozart and Schikaneder portray an insecure young man who experiences feelings of love for the first time. So Tamino asks twice «Soll die Empfindung Liebe sein?» (Can the feeling be love?) and before he pronounces the words with emphasis, the clarinet and bassoon already give him the answer. In the same rhythm Tamino sings “Ja, ja”

Despite the serious formal arrangement of the aria, there is no lack of humour in this aria. Look at this passage where Mozart and Schikaneder let Pamino ask what he should do with the girl. Pamino, inexperienced with women, stammers twice “Was wurde ich? ” (What would I do ?). After a long pause, in which the singer and orchestra seem to puzzle feverishly, he gets the redeeming idea: a hug would probably be the right thing to do.

For many people the name Wunderlich is synonymous with a role: Tamino in Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’. Much has been written about the premature death of this gifted singer. His achievement in Böhm’s complete recording is rightly regarded as unrivalled. Listen to this aria from this complete recording. His lyrical tenor is warm and rich and flows wonderfully. The second part is expressive and climbs effortlessly into the higher registers.

Dies Bildnis ist wunderschön – Wunderlich (1)


Nicolai Gedda was a great Mozart singer. His Aria is perfect in diction but somewhat less passionate than Wunderlich’s version.

Dies Bildnis ist wunderschön – Gedda (2)




O zittre nicht – the first great aria of the Queen of the Night

Synopsis: The three ladies tell Pamino that the evil priest Sarastro is holding Pamina prisoner. Tamino is angry, and the three ladies instruct Pamino to save the princess. Pamino says yes with enthusiasm and the Queen of the Night appears. She laments her situation and promises the prince her daughter’s hand if he liberates her.

Mozart wrote this stage instruction at the appearance of the Queen of the Night: “The mountains divide and the theatre is transformed into a magnificent chamber. The Queen sits on a throne decorated with transparent stars”.

In the Allegro maestoso of the recitative, Mozart’s music immediately makes it clear that the Queen of the Night is a powerful woman. She begins in a rehearsed meæsthetic slowness. With singing the chromatic downward movement (ihr ängstliches Beben, ihr schüchternes Streben), she explains her misfortune to Tamino.

In the following aria, which changes into the major key, she orders Tamino to free her daughter. With long-lasting coloraturas (chains of sixteenth notes of coloratura during five bars) she sings about the Prince’s subsequent happiness of love. In the process, he sings herself in exstasy: staccato figures, coloratura chains (with a high f as the last note) and a trill are played one after the other to convince Tamino to tackle the dangerous rescue operation.  Thunderous noises finish this impressive piece.

Diana Damrau was the most famous queen for several years. In 2010 she sang them for the last time. An interesting reason why, from an interview with the FAZ: “The “Queen” is an absolute high performance sport. It’s not just the height. You hear everything in these arias, with their purity, completely without portamenti, you hear everything immediately if something doesn’t work out. And the older I get, the more time my body needs to regenerate. Because of this effort and because my calendar was getting fuller and fuller, I decided not to sing “Queen” anymore.

O zittre nicht (1)  –  Damrau


An impressive production with Natalie Dessay.

O zittre nicht (2)  –  Dessay


A beautiful quintet – Pamino receives the Magic Flute

Synopsis: The queen disappears again. Papageno reappears, he wants the three ladies to take the lock from him. The ladies free him from the lock and appoint him as Tamino’s servant to help him free Pamina. They hand Tamino a magic flute and Papageno a glockenspiel (sort of chimes) . Both instruments serve to change the minds of humans and animals on the spot.


For this scene Mozart composed a beautiful quintet with Papageno, Tamino and the ladies. Papageno begs the ladies with “Hm!” to take the castle from him. Mozart enjoys accompanying this Hm! with the bassoon in unison.

An interpretation with the dream cast from the Klemperer recording.

Hm! Hm! Hm! Hm! – Gedda / Berry / Schwarzkopf / Ludwig / Höffgern


Synopsis: Pamina is tied up in Sarastro’s palace. The Moor Monastatos has thwarted her escape attempt and approaches her lustfully. At that moment Papageno appears.  Both Moor and birdcatcher take each other for the devil and run away.

A funny production of this scene from a television recording.

Du feines Täubchen



A beautiful duet of Pamina and Papageno

Synopsis: But soon Papageno tells himself that there are black birds, why shouldn’t there be black people? So Papageno returns. He tells Pamina about Prince Tamino, who loves her and is on the way to her liberation.

In the entire opera, we do not hear a love duet between Pamina and Tamino. Possibly the dramaturgy did not permit this. Mozart wrote a beautiful duet of Pamina and Papageno for this scene, and it sounds surprisingly like a love duet, in whose music you can hear the pulse of two hearts. Even Papageno transforms for a moment into a serious character, and he represents his adventurous companion, so to speak. Beethoven, who greatly appreciated the Magic Flute, was so enthusiastic that he wrote variations on this beautiful piece.

We are going to listen to a particularly beautiful interpretation from Walter Berry and Gundula Janowitz, whose two voices go together wonderfully.

Bei Männer, welche Liebe fühlen



Tamino reaches the temple district

Synopsis: Meanwhile Tamino has arrived in the temple district. Three boys, who help him with advice during his adventure, admonish him to steadfastness, patience and reticence.

For this scene of the three boys, Mozart composed a cheerful but dignified music that leads the listener into a new world. Unfortunately, the Three Boys are often sung by women in the opera house, although Mozart wrote this ethereal music explicitly for the voice of boys.

Zum Ziele führt – Wiener Sängerknaben



The finale of the first act of The Magic Flute

Mozart composed the music of the finale through. This is considered by many experts to be the most visionary part of the opera as it anticipates the form of Puccini’s and Wagner’s musical dramas. To this end, he wrote the longest recitative composed by him, which carries a decisive part of the plot.

Synopsis: Tamino wants to penetrate the temple, but is frightened back by invisible voices. An old priest appears and Tamino speaks to him. He confirms that Pamina was abducted d by Sarastro. But he also explains that Tamino was misled. Tamino continues and learns from invisible voices that Pamina is still alive.

Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton – Araiza


Synopsis: He hears the chimes and hurries to Papageno. He is on the run with Pamina and they run into Monostatos’ hands. Papageno quickwittedly plays the chimes and Monostatos and his soldiers become spellbound.

Schnelle Füsse, rascher Mut  /  Battle



The strange duet of Sarastro and Pamina

Synopsis: Suddenly drums and trumpets announce the arrival of Sarastro who appears with pomp. Pamina throws herself at his feet and confesses her escape attempt, that she wanted to save herself from Monostatos’ advances.

When Pamina notices the arrival of Sarastro, she hisses to Papageno that he should always tell the truth. But the first thing Pamina says to Sarastro is an outright lie (she alleges that she fled only because of Monostato’s advances). The duet of the two continues in a disharmonious way: Sarastro interrupts the lady several times and Pamina tries to soap the elderly gentleman (“Für mich klingt der Name meiner Mutter süß”; “To me my mothers name is sweet”). He reacts to it brusquely and pronounces the famous misogynistic sentence: «Und ein stolzes Weib! Ein Mann muss Eure Herzen leiten, denn ohne ihn pflegt jedes Weib aus ihrem Wirkungskreis zu schreiten» (And a proud woman! A man must guide your heart, for without a man a woman would not fulfil her aim in life!)Sarastro is the figure of light in this opera, but he also has difficult features. This ambiguity of the characters makes the story of this opera exciting and always attracts new interpretations in the staging.

Herr ich bin zwar Verbrecherin – Ziesak/Moll


Synopsis: Sarastro shows mercy, forgives Pamina and punishes Monostatos. But he separates Pamina from Papageno and Tamino, since they first have to submit to trials, to be accepted in the circle of initiates. All praise the wisdom of Sarastro.










In the church – the ritual prayer O Isis and Osiris

Synopsis: In the hall Sarastro and the priests are gathered and expect Tamino. Sarastro announces that Tamino will marry Pamina after passing the trials. The old priest warns that the hard trials could cost Tamino his life. All ask the aid of the Gods for the trial.

A choral-like prelude opens the second act. Again Mozart begins this overture with 3 chords.

Marsch der Priester


This church scene is characterized by the alternation between the precentor and the choir. The instrumentation and the low notes give the music a dark but warm tone. It is composed in the key of F major, which in Mozart’s work stands for the intact world and the good shepherds.

Listen to this ritual ecclesiastic ritual with the voice of a noble, expressive Rene Pape as Sarastro. Pape has been one of the leading bass voices since the beginning of the 21st century.

O Isis und Osiris – Pape


Synopsis: The first exam is due. Papageno is afraid. To encourage him, the priests promise him a Papagena if he passes the exam. They enter the temple. Then the three Ladies appear and warn the two that death awaits them at Sarastro.


Wie? Wie? Wie?

These threats do not miss their effect on Papageno, but Tamino dismisses this as “chatter from women” (“tittle-tattle of women”), with which he showes himself to be an eager pupil of the Male League.

Wie? wie? Wie?


Synopsis: Tamino doesn’t let himself be put off and priests scare away the three ladies. The first test is passed. In the garden of Sarastro Monostatos approaches the sleeping Pamina.

In this short piece, the text speaks of the despair of the moor: “Ist mir denn kein Herz gegeben, bin ich nicht aus Fleisch und Blut ? (Is no heart given to me, am I not of flesh and blood?); but the music mocks itself deliciously over the grotesque character.

Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden – Peper


Synopsis: When Monostatos wants to kiss her, the Queen of the Night appears. Monostatos hides and overhears the conversation. The Queen of the Night learns what happened to Tamino and is outraged. She tells Pamina that her deceased husband has handed over the Sun Circle to Sarastro and thus received power. She asks her daughter to kill Sarastro and steal the solar circle from him.


Der Hölle Rache – die berühmte Rache Arie der Königin der Nacht

Synopsis: The queen disappears and the returning Monstos harasses Pamina, Sarastro appears and drives Monostatos away. The Queen of the Night learns that Tamino is trying to join Sarastro’s circle, instead of freeing her daughter Pamina from his hands. She is outraged. She tells Pamina that her deceased husband has handed over the Sun Circle to Sarastro and he thus received power. She orders her daughter to kill Sarastro and to steal the sun circle.

This aria is often referred to as “Revenge aria”. It is peppered with murderous difficulties and leads the voice to the outermost regions of the voice range. The high note F is the highest note set in the opera repertoire. The end is again a recitative-like passage marked by hate.

The singer of the premiere was Mozart’s sister-in-law Josepha Hofer. It is said that Hofer had a particularly agile voice with a pronounced high register. So Mozart wrote this aria in her throat.

We hear two great interpretations by leading interpreters of the Queen of their generations.

We’ll start with perhaps the best version, the interpretation by Edda Moser from the Sawallisch recording. We hear the queen seething with rage. The Staccatos blaze up dramatically like in no other interpretation.

Der Hölle Rache (Revenge aria) (1)  –  Moser


Diana Damrau, the (possibly) best Queen of her generation.

Der Hölle Rache (Revenge aria) (2)  –  Damrau



The great aria  «In diesen heilgen Hallen»

Synopsis: Pamina refuses her mother’s plan and speaks to Sarastro about it. Sarastro promises her not to take revenge on her mother.

This famous aria is written in a simple strophic structure, set at a slow, dignified tempo and composed with simple chords of the strings. The E major is bright and warm. The bass singer is accompanied by arabesques in the woodwinds. Schikaneder has written one of his most noble texts and Mozart contributed a beautiful melody.

We hear this famous arie in three interpretations.

Kurt Moll sings Sarastro with the warmth with which a father speaks to his daughter. So in the filmed recording, the Pamina nestles like a kitten to his breast. Moll’s recordings are still considered as a benchmark.

In diesen heil’gen Hallen – Moll


Rene Pape’s voice has been called the Black Diamond. In this Met recording you can hear him singing Sarastro’s aria in English. And indeed, Pape sounds like a preacher from a Methodist church from the south.

In diesen heil’gen Hallen – Pape


Furtwängler called Frick’s voice “the blackest of all basses”, his timbre actually makes the interpretation impressive, although it is not as melodic as Moll’s or Pape’s interpretation. This interpretation leaves the impression that Pamina was even more intimidated after this aria than before.

In diesen heil’gen Hallen – Frick




The three boys appear in a balloon

Synopsis: Tamino and Papageno are led to the next trial. An ugly old woman appears and wants to show them the way outside. When Papageno speaks to her, she is scared away by the priests. They must keep silence. The three boys appear again and bring the two their instruments back.

This scene was one of the attractions at the premiere in Vienna. The the three boys appear in a balloon, a stage machine. Besides the moving snake, the machine was one of the technical attractions at the premiere.

Seid uns zum zweitenmal willkommen


Ach ich fühls – Pamina’s great aria

Synopsis: Tamino is happy to play the flute and Pamina appears, attracted by the sound. When she speaks to him, Tamino remains silent and Pamina thinks she has lost Tamino’s love. She doesn’t know that Tamino’s silence is part of the test.

This aria is written in a deeply sad G minor tune. Pamina must be able to draw long piano lines  and form beautiful phrases. Every vocal must be sung out.The orchestra begins in a slow andante with a rhythm similar to a funeral march. The appogiaturas notes on “fühls” and “hin” in the first verse give the piece an infinitely painful character that contrasts with the warm high B flat on “Liebe” of the second verse. This is followed by a wonderfully nostalgic “Nimmer kommet ihr, Wonnestunden” (Never will you, hours of delight).

In the next passage Tamina asks Tamino in disbelief “don’t you feel the longing for love? (don’t you feel the longing of my love) and at the word “love” the high B only sounds sad and resigned. In the passage “so wird Ruh im Tode sein” (oh return or let me die) the music becomes ghostly and pale. The ethereal pianissimo leaps already seem to sound from the hereafter.

We hear two interpretation of this beautiful and moving aria.

The  interpretation by the american soprano Barbara Bonney is breathtaking. It is very lyrical despite the fast tempo.

Ach, ich fühls (1) – Bonney

We hear beautiful high pianissimo notes (like Caballé !) from Anna Moffo.

Ach, ich fühls (2) – Moffo




Synopsis: After passing the second trial,  Pamina tries to hold Tamino back from the dangers of the third trial. But Tamino is ready to face the last test.

Listen to a graceful trio with Pamina, Tamina and Sarastro.

Soll ich Dich teurer nicht mehr sehn ?


Another famous Papageno Aria

Synopsis: Papageno was banished in a cave because of his garrulousness. That he is not admitted to initiation does not bother him. He would rather have something to drink, something to eat and … a little wife.

Papageno knows no higher ideals than eating, drinking and a female. Doesn’t that make him sympathetic?

There is a nice anecdote about this piece. Schikaneder, the librettist, played the part of Papageno himself. “Mozart was already very ill, but he wanted as often as he could, go to the theatre an join in. In a letter he reports that he once served the glockenspiel in the orchestra and in doing so frightened Schikaneder, who was singing his song “ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” as Papageno; Mozart played a chord that was not intended and thus made it clear that Schikaneder did not play the glockenspiel himself, as he had led one to believe. But Schikaneder, a cradled impromptu actor, struck the bells with his hand and shouted to them “Shut up”, which made the audience and Mozart laugh a lot” (Source: Pahlen, Opernlexikon).

Listen to Herman Prey in this popular aria.

Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen – Prey


Synopsis: In the garden: Pamina is still despairing. Pamina wants to kill herself But the three boys tell her that Tamino still loves her. In the meantime, two priests have brought Tamino to the final trial. There appears Pamina, who wants to take the test together with the prince.

Tamina seems to be transformed. Hear this noble duet.

Tamino mein, o welch ein Glück!


Synopsis: The two must pass through the fire and water cave. With the help of the flute they pass the dangers effortlessly and are greeted by voices.

Wir wandelten durch Feuersgluten


Papagenos last scene – he finds his Papagena

Synopsis: Papageno seeks his Papagena. He doesn’t want to live without her anymore. The 3 boys remind him of his carillon and Papagena actually appears. They fall into each other’s arms.

After the 3 boys could prevent the second suicide, Schikaneder gets a stunning aria for his last scene by Mozart. Papagon and his Papageno sing this short but incredibly effective piece like two chickens.

First from an film version in english language:



and a second version with Bryn Terfel and a stunning Cecilia Bartoli.

Pa-Pa-Pa-Papagena – Terfel / Bartoli


The finale

Synopsis: Monostatos has joined forces with the Queen of the Night to free Pamina. But Sarastro drives her away with thunder and lightning into eternal night. At sunrise, Pamina and Tamino are taken into the circle of initiates in the temple.

Nur Stille … Die Strahlen der Sonne


Mozart composed this opera in the year of his death. He finished the work in September 1791. He attended many performances in October and was pleased that after a long time he was able to celebrate an audience success with another work. In November he was already ill in bed and died on December 5. Unbelievable that this opera was written in the shadow of death.



Recording recommendation


EMI, Gundula Janowitz, Nicolai Gedda, Walter Berry, Lucia Popp and Gottlob Frick under the direction of Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus.




Peter Lutz, opera inside, the online opera guide to die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.





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