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The Magic Flute

The work is scored for 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. It 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. This instrument has since been lost to history, though modern day scholars believe it to be a keyed glockenspiel, which is usually replaced with a celesta in modern-day performances.[34]

The Magic Flute

The ladies return and tell Tamino that Pamina has been captured by Sarastro, whom they describe as a powerful, evil demon. Tamino vows to rescue Pamina. The Queen of the Night appears and promises Tamino that Pamina will be his if he rescues 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 give Papageno magic bells for protection, telling him to go with Tamino. 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!").

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 (Quartet: "Zum Ziele führt dich diese Bahn" / This path leads you to your goal). 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. He promises that Tamino's confusion will be lifted when Tamino approaches the temple in a spirit of friendship. 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 (aria: "Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton" / How strong is thy magic tone).

Papageno and Pamina enter, searching for Tamino (trio: "Schnelle Füße, rascher Mut" / Swift steps, ready courage). 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 (chorus: "Das klinget so herrlich" / That sounds so splendid). 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. (chorus: "Es lebe Sarastro!" / Long live Sarastro!) 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.

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 (Trio: "Seid uns zum zweiten Mal willkommen" / We welcome you a second time). 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" / Oh, I feel it, it is gone) She leaves in despair.

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" / He who walks this path weighed down with cares). This recitation takes the musical form of a Baroque chorale prelude, to a tune inspired by Martin Luther's hymn "Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein" (Oh God, look down from heaven).[h][39] 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! / Oh, what luck, my Tamino!"). 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. There is then a scene change without interrupting the music, leading into scene 8.

Papageno despairs at having lost Papagena and decides to hang himself (Aria/Quartet: "Papagena! Papagena! Papagena! Weibchen, Täubchen, meine Schöne" / Papagena! Papagena! Papagena! Dear woman, dear dove, my beauty) 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 and make bird-like courting sounds at each other. They plan their future and dream of the many children they will have together (Duet: "Pa... pa... pa...").[i] There is then a scene change without interrupting the music, leading into scene 9.

The traitorous Monostatos appears with the Queen of the Night and her three ladies. They plot to destroy the temple ("Nur stille, stille" / Just quiet, quiet) 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. There is then a scene change without interrupting the music, leading into scene 10.

It follows the adventures of Prince Tamino and the bird-catcher Papageno on their quest to rescue Pamina. To assist their mission, they are given musical instruments enhanced with magical powers, which they deploy to conquer the trials and tribulations placed in their path towards a deeper understanding of true love and happiness.

Beside herself with grief, Pamina contemplates suicide, but the three spirits intervene, bringing her and Tamino together for the final trials. Protected by the magic flute, Tamino and Pamina successfully undergo fire and water ordeals. The three spirits also manage to prevent Papageno from killing himself, and the bird-catcher is reunited with his Papagena for good.

With the gift of a magic flute and magic bells, as well as the light-hearted assistance of the bird-catcher, Papageno, Tamino sets off on his dangerous quest. However, he soon discovers that nothing, not even Day and Night, is quite as it first appears.

Someone gives the princess a knife, asking her to kill someone. We hear a reference of someone having his throat cut. A magic music box makes people dance until they fall down, exhausted and unconscious.

Tamino plays his magic flute, and in response he hears Papageno's panpipes. Papageno appears with Pamina, and they're both running from Monostatos. He's about to catch them when the mighty Sarastro appears. He reprimands Monostatos for his evil designs on Pamina, and Monastatos slinks off. Sarastro then offers Pamina and Tamino the chance to be together. But first, he says, they must endure rituals of purification, and they're led into the temple.

The Magic Flute swivels on top of a camera mount and is moved up or down using the mouth piece. An internal gyroscope detects the angular position and converts that into a note or pitch, and the strength of the breath into the mouth piece determines the volume of the note. The instrument comes with a control unit called the blue box. A special feature called a sound card allows the musician to not only create flute music, but also other wind instruments, horns, guitar and even the piano and drums.

The Queen of the Night enters and tells her own side of the kidnap story. If Tamino rescues Pamina, he will prove himself a true prince of the Night, and so can spend his life with her daughter. Tamino eagerly accepts the quest, and Papageno begrudgingly agrees to go along with him. The Ladies provide a magic flute, magic bells and Three Young Ones to guide them to the gates of the Sun Palace.

Pamina and Papageno are looking around for Tamino, but Monostatos and the Geeks enter and want to drag Pamina back to her lesson. Papageno plays the magic bells, and they dance away. A great fanfare heralds the assembly of the King and his Court.

A Person brings Tamino and Papageno some water. They wish it were wine, and they both love nothing more than sitting in a country pub on a Sunday drinking wine. They wish they had someone to do that with. The Three Young Ones enter bringing the tools that Tamino and Papageno will need on this quest - the magic flute and bells. Pamina comes in and suggests Tamino and she should run away and start a new realm all their own. Tamino stays silent. Pamina thought she had a good plan, but now, even Tamino doesn't seem to want her.

The People of the Sun Palace are excited to watch the Trials of the young Tamino. The Armed men tell us about the two upcoming trials. Fire will illuminate the pathways of truth and water will cleanse the evil thoughts. Pamina hears this and realises knowledge is power. She will take the trials with Tamino. As she joins him, they realise they love each other, and want to always be together in the face of whatever comes. They triumphantly complete the trials with the help of the magic flute. 041b061a72


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