Tamino - tenor
Pamina* - soprano
Papageno - baritone
Speaker - bass
Monostatos - tenor
Queen of the night* - coloratura soprano
Papagena - soprano
First lady - soprano
Second lady - soprano
Third lady - mezzo-soprano or contralto
Sarastro - bass
First child-spirit - soprano
Second child-spirit - soprano
Third child-spirit - mezzo-soprano or contralto
BOA kicks off its summer with rehearsals of one of the world's most performed operas, and one dominant in the german opera scene. The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart set to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. It premiered on 30 September 1791 at Schikaneder's theatre, the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna. We will be referring to the Baerenreiter edition for music direction.
Mozart's Magic Flute is noted for its Masonic elements. Schikaneder and Mozart were both Masons and lodge brothers. The opera was influenced by enlightenment philosophy, and the Queen of the Night, according to some, represented the Roman Catholic Church itself, which was also strongly anti-Masonic. Her antagonist, Sarastro, was thought to symbolise the enlightened sovereign who rules according to principles of reason, wisdom, and nature. The story itself displays an education of mankind, ultimately making "the Earth a heavenly kingdom, and mortals like the gods".
For the Premiere, Mozart conducted the orchestra, Schikaneder sang Papageno and the opera was premiered in Vienna on 30 September 1791. Although there were no reviews of the first performances, it was clear that it was a great success, drawing immense crowds and reaching hundreds of performances during the 1790s.
In Mozart's own words, "I have this moment returned from the opera, which was as full as ever... you can see how this opera is becoming more and more esteemed."
The Magic Flute is presently the fourth most frequently performed opera world wide.