Mozart’s The Magic Flute is a two–act opera composed in 1791, the year of his death. It was the culmination of a period of increasing involvement by Mozart with Emmanuel Schikaneder's theatrical troupe, which since 1789 had been the resident company at the Theater auf der Wieden.
The Magic Flute is noted for its prominent Masonic elements; both Schikaneder and Mozart were believed to be Masons and also lodge brothers. Much of Mozart’s Masonic music is written in the key of E flat. This key, with 3 flats is indicative of Masonic symbolism. There are other examples of the number three in the opera as well. The opening chords of the introduction sound three times, which also happens during the Temple scenes. Also represented in threes are the three temples of Wisdom, Reason and Nature. Tamino tries to open the three doors of the temple. There are three ladies, the attendants to the Queen of the Night, and three boys who serve as guides to Tamino and Papageno.
Mozart evidently wrote the music while 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 and Monostatos are often stated first in the strings so the singer can find their 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, needed no such help — indeed this role is famous for both its technical difficulty and range.
Item Code: TPBB-008