Die Zauberflöte
(The Magic Flute)

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Music:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto:Emanuel Schikaneder
Premiere:Vienna, September 30, 1791

First performed only two months before Mozart's death, The Magic Flute is the story of true lovers who must survive magical ordeals before they can be together. Prince Tamino stumbles into the land of the Queen of Night, where he is attacked by a giant serpent. He is rescued by three ladies, who show him a picture of the beautiful Pamina, and Tamino instantly falls in love. Protected by a golden flute, he sets off with the bird-catcher Papageno to rescue Pamina from the clutches of the sorcerer Sarastro. But the sorcerer is actually a wise priest, who tells Pamina that though she and Tamino are destined for each other, they must first prove their love. When the gods instruct Tamino to take a vow of silence, Pamina fears that all is lost and contemplates suicide, but she is comforted by kind spirits and finds new strength to aid Tamino through the trials of fire and water. Triumphing over all adversity, the lovers unite, as the forces of light banish the darkness, and the magic flute carries the final melody.

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