Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – The Magic Flute

bookshelves: winter-20142015, published-1791, music, film-only

Read from December 13 to 14, 2014
Ingmar Bergman’s Trollflöjten (The Magic Flute) 1975 02:09:18

After being told by an flister about Cologne Opera’s performance of ‘The Magic Flute’ I decided it would be great to have another foray into this masonic opera, so took the Swedish version, natch!

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

Description from wiki: 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. 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, or, according to others, the contemporary Roman Catholic Church itself, which was also strongly anti-Masonic (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.

Fab fun – especially liked the snake being a dragon in this version!

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