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Ensemble

A Light Touch

Mozart's 'The Magic Flute', enjoyed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's singspiel, Die Zauberflöte, was first seen on 30 September 1791 at the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden on the outskirts of Vienna. The librettist was Emanuel Schickaneder, an actor and sometime singer who designed the role of Papageno for himself. Likely sources for his text include: Jakob August Liebeskind's fairy tale Lulu oder die Zauberflöte, Philip Haffner's play Megara and the Abbé Jean Terrason's novel Sethos.

Toby Spence (Tamino) and the animals in the Santa Fe Opera production of 'The Magic Flute'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Toby Spence (Tamino) and the animals in the Santa Fe Opera production of 'The Magic Flute'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

Although Schickaneder was famous for his interpretation of Hamlet, at this point in time he wanted a simpler character that would appeal to both upper class and less well educated theater goers. Probably because of his association with Freemasonry, which often overlooked class differences, his Viennese productions were known to have an unusually well mixed audience.

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Copyright © 3 September 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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