ACT II SCENE 3
Tamino and Papageno have not yet completed all the trials that Sarastro has prescribed in order to purify them. During this time, Pamina continues to endure the advances of Monostatos. Now her mother, the Queen of the Night, appears: she does not come to deliver her but, in the grip of unspeakable rage, to charge her with a terrible mission: she must stab Sarastro and steal the circle of the sun from him . . .
Listen to the excerpt:
Do you see this dagger here? It has been sharpened for Sarastro. You will kill him, and hand the potent circle of the sun over to me.
But, dear mother . . .
Not a word!
QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
The vengeance of hell boils in my heart;
Death and despair flame all around me!
If Sarastro does not feel the pains of death through you,
You are no longer my daughter.
Be outcast, be abandoned forever,
Let all the bonds of nature be dashed to pieces,
If Sarastro does not perish by your hand!
Hear, gods of vengeance, hear a mother’s vow!
In our version, the staccato runs of the Queen of the Night’s Vengeance Aria (no.14) are sung on the ‘e’ of ‘nimmermehr’, as prescribed by Mozart. ‘Tradition’ has long allowed singers to replace the ‘e’ by a more easily singable but meaningless and much less demonic-sounding ‘ah’.
In a recording, a play with music, a ‘singspiel’, must become a ‘Hörspiel’ with music, a play for listening to. It is an exciting challenge to make the dialogue so lively and varied that listeners are not tempted to skip from one musical number to the next with the aid of the remote control. The speech of the dialogue and the singing of the arias and ensembles must merge into a natural unity. This presupposes that the singers should sometimes unabashedly allow a hint of their singing voice to be heard when speaking . . .