The above scene in the film Amadeus (1984) is the subject of today’s musical piece Die Zaberflote (The Magic Flute K620) Aria No.14. The work premiered on 30 September 1791 just 2 months before the composer’s death hence its placement in the latter portion of the film. 1790/91 were hard years on Mozart as he was worried about money and Constanze’s health and struggling with the feeling of not being appreciated.
According to Mozart.com: An old friend, the actor, singer and poet Emanuel Schikaneder, made an appearance. He was looking for a new play and knew exactly what the audience wanted: a play about magic, all the rage in Vienna! Schikaneder wrote the libretto and Mozart composed. “Die Zauberflöte”, “The Magic Flute”, was to become one of the most popular and most performed operas in history.
The Plot in a nutshell of the Magic Flute: Tamino, a prince lost in a foreign land, is being pursued by an enormous monster. He is rescued by three mysterious ladies, who kill the monster and give Tamino a picture of Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, with whom he falls instantly in love.
The Opera paints a vivid picture of each character, and the music reflects the skills and abilities of the original performers back in 1791.
The rustic character of Papageno has folksong-like arias built of simple melodies, whilst Sarastro’s music is deep, stately and almost hymn-like, reflecting his character as a spiritual leader. The lyrical arias of Tamino are more romantic in style (as befitting a prince) and look forward to the Italian bel canto era, while the music for the Armed Men harks back to the more regimented baroque era with its use of fugues. Most famously, the Queen of the Night’s Act II aria which is today’s piece.
For everything you need to know about Mozart’s The Magic Flute you can find in one place – right here at Opera North!
Without further to do, Ladies and Gents the scene of the Queen of the Night from my beloved Amadeus: