Episode 1 – A funny sort of birdcatcher

Attacked by a serpent in a land unknown to him, Prince Tamino faints. Three Ladies suddenly appear, strike down the beast, and depart to inform the Queen of the Night: perhaps he will be able to ‘restore her former tranquillity’. Recovering his senses, Tamino finds himself in the presence of the dead serpent and the [...]

2 – The portrait Aria

ACT I, SCENE 3 The birdcatcher Papageno has claimed to have overcome the serpent which attacked Prince Tamino. The deed was in fact done by the Three Ladies, acting on behalf of the Queen of the Night. In no time at all they padlock Papageno’s mouth and give Tamino a portrait of Pamina, the Queen [...]

3: The farewell quintet

ACT I, SCENE 8 After padlocking Papageno’s mouth for claiming to have saved Prince Tamino, the Three Ladies have been instructed by their mistress, the Queen of the Night, to help Tamino in the mission with which she has entrusted him: to free her daughter Pamina from the clutches of her abductor, the perfidious Sarastro. [...]

4: Enter the real baddie

ACT I, SCENE 11 If you missed the beginning, all you have to know is that the Queen of the Night has promised Prince Tamino the hand of her daughter Pamina if he succeeds in freeing her from the clutches of her abductor Sarastro . . . We are now transported to a ‘splendid Egyptian [...]

5: Thus spake Sarastro…

ACT II A great many things have happened since Tamino set out in search of Pamina at the behest of the Queen of the Night. He has had time to find out the supernatural powers of his magic flute but also the truth about the supposed perfidy of Sarastro. Meanwhile Papageno and Pamina have been [...]

6: Be a man, Papageno !

ACT II SCENE 3 Having set out to free Pamina from ‘Sarastro’s clutches’ at the behest of the Queen of the Night, Tamino must now undergo a series of trials in order to be purified. He is accompanied in his initiation by the birdcatcher Papageno. Two Priests tell them the rules: first of all, they [...]

7: An angry queen

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 [...]

8: Pamina in despair

ACT II SCENE 17 In case you missed the last episode, you should know that Princess Pamina has not only had to face the murderous anger of her mother (the Queen of the Night), but also Monostatos’s threats to have her mother killed if the girl refuses herself to him; Sarastro has punished the miscreant, [...]

9: Three wise boys

ACT II Throughout the process of initiation, Tamino and Papageno have been helped by a curious little trio: Three Boys whose task it is to guide them through their trials. In the middle of the second act, they come to give back to the two men the bells and the flute which had been confiscated, [...]

Episode 10: Epilogue!

FINALE PA . . . PA . . . PA . . . PA-PA . . . Thanks to the intervention of the Three Boys, not only does Papageno decide not to hang himself, but his bells enable him to summon his sweetheart Papagena. Just before the final scene – in which the Queen of [...]

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This blog is dedicated to the release of Mozart: The Magic Flute by René Jacobs, to be released on harmonia mundi by the end of September 2010. Enjoy the discovery of this tremendous recording.