The Magic Flute

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Tamino is the hero of this opera.  He is being chased by a big snake and is knocked out.  The Ladies in Waiting of The Queen of the Night hear him cry out and they kill the snake and sing.  They go off an odd looking man, dressed in feathers, called Papageno, who is the Queen’s bird catcher   is there when Tamino wakes up.   Papageno tells him that he killed the snake and that Tamino is now in the country of the Queen of the Night.  The Ladies in Waiting come back and put a padlock on Papageno’s mouth for telling the lie.  Then they show Tamino a picture of the Queen’s daughter, Pamina, who they say is a prisoner of Sarastro.  The Queen then shows up and tells Tamino she is upset that she has lost her daughter and that he can marry her if he can rescue her.  Tamino vows to rescue Pamina from Sarastro.  The Ladies in Waiting remove the padlock from Papageno’s mouth and give him a set of chimes.  They give Tamino a flute.  Three Genii are going with them on their journey to rescue Pamina.

            Now in the palace of Sarastro, a Moor called Monostatos is after Pamina and wants her for himself.  Then Papageno appears, the Moor flees.  Papageno recognizes Pamina.  He tells her that she will soon be rescued by someone who loves her, but he is sad there is nobody who loves him.

            The three Genii have led Tamino to the temples of Wisdom, Reason and Nature.  Tamino decides to look inside the temples, but he is not allowed in the first two.  At the third a priest tells him that Sarastro is not wicked, but a wise man.  Tamino plays his flute and some animals come and sit at his feet.  Then he hears Papageno’s pipes and runs off to find him.

            Papageno then appears leading Pamino, but they are caught by Monstratos.  Papageno then starts to play his pipes which set Monostatos and his servents dancing so that Paminio and he can escape.  Then Sarastro comes on the scene with a procession.  Pamina explains to him that she was escaping from the Moor.  Monostatos then brings Tamino to Sarastro expecting a reward, but he is flogged instead.  Tamino and Pamina are in love.  Sarastro tells Tamino and Papegeno to go to the Temple of Ordeal where they must prove they are worthy of happiness. Sarstro tells the priests that Pamina is to be Tamino’s bride, but only if he is worthy to be admitted to the temple.

            In front of the Temple Tamino and Papegeno that they must keep silent.  When the priests go the Ladies of the Queen of the Night appear and try to get them to break their vow, but Tamino and Papegeno remain silent.  The preists then tell them they have passed their first test.

            Pamina is sleeping when Monostatos approaches, the Queen of the Night appears and gives her daughter a knife with which to kill Sarastro.  Monostatos  threatens to tell Sarastro about the plot to kill him  if Pamina does not give him her love.  Sarastro then appears and the Moor flees.

            In the temple an old crone appears and says to Papageno that she is the sweetheart he has yet to meet.  The Genii then appear as the crone disappears and bring the flute and chimes.  Pamina appears and talks to Tamino, but is surprised that he does not reply (he is still under the vow of silence).

            Next we are in a vault where Sarastro tells Pamina that they will have to say their last farewell  of each other.  Papageno is told he can have one wish granted.  He is not satisfied when he has drunk the wine he asked for.  The crone appears again and tells Papageno that he must be true to her.  He so swears and she reveals herself to be young and attractive. The priest tells Papageno he is not yet worthy of her.

            In a garden Pamina thinks about killing herself but he Genii. Two men in armor guard the door. Tamino is brought in by the priests for the last stage of his initiation, the test of fire and water. For the final ordeals, he is accompanied by Pamina. He is pleased to see her again and now he can may speak with her freely. Pamina acts as Tamino's guide as they undergo the ordeals of fire and water. At the end, they are welcomed into the Temple by Sarastro and the Priests. Before the Temple, Monostatos leads the Queen and her Ladies who are making their last bid at revenge on Sarastro. Their appearance coincides with a flood of light that drives away the forces of the night.


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