die zauberflöte Opera in two acts Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder Saturday, October 25, :00 4:15 pm - PDF

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART die zauberflöte conductor Adam Fischer production Julie Taymor set designer George Tsypin Opera in two acts Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder Saturday, October 25, :00 4:15

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WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART die zauberflöte conductor Adam Fischer production Julie Taymor set designer George Tsypin Opera in two acts Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder Saturday, October 25, :00 4:15 pm costume designer Julie Taymor lighting designer Donald Holder puppet designers Julie Taymor Michael Curry choreographer Mark Dendy stage director David Kneuss general manager Peter Gelb music director James Levine The production of Die Zauberflöte was made possible by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Kravis Additional funding was received from John Van Meter, The Annenberg Foundation, Karen and Kevin Kennedy, Bill Rollnick and Nancy Ellison Rollnick, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Miller, Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman, and Mr. and Mrs. Ezra K. Zilkha principal conductor Fabio Luisi The 421st Metropolitan Opera performance of WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART S die zauberflöte conductor Adam Fischer in order of vocal appearance tamino Toby Spence first l ady Amy Shoremount-Obra second l ady Renée Tatum* third l ady Margaret Lattimore* papageneo Markus Werba queen of the night Ana Durlovski first sl ave Stephen Paynter second sl ave Kurt Phinney third sl ave Craig Montgomery monostatos Mark Schowalter pamina Miah Persson first spirit Connor Tsui second spirit Sebastian Berg third spirit Andre Gulick spe aker Ryan McKinny sar a stro Tobias Kehrer first priest Paul Corona second priest Tony Stevenson* papagene a Ashley Emerson* first guard Noah Baetge second guard Rod Nelman solo dancer Emery Lecrone flute solo Denis Bouriakov Saturday, October 25, 2014, 1:00 4:15PM Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera A scene from Mozart s Die Zauberflöte * Graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Yamaha is the Official Piano of the Metropolitan Opera. Latecomers will not be admitted during the performance. Visit metopera.org Chorus Master Donald Palumbo Musical Preparation Dennis Giauque, Gregory Buchalter, Dan Saunders, Joshua Greene, and Joel Revzen Assistant Stage Directors Sarah Ina Meyers and J. Knighten Smit Prompter Gregory Buchalter Met Titles J. D. McClatchy German Coach Marianne Barrett Children s Chorus Director Anthony Piccolo Projection Designer Caterina Bertolotto Makeup Designer Reiko Kruk Associate Set Designer Iosef Yusupov Associate Costume Designer Mary Peterson Puppets Constructed by Michael Curry Design, Inc. and Metropolitan Opera Shops Scenery, properties, and electrical props constructed and painted by Metropolitan Opera Shops Costumes executed by Metropolitan Opera Costume Department Wigs and Makeup executed by Metropolitan Opera Wig and Makeup Department This performance is made possible in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. Before the performance begins, please switch off cell phones and other electronic devices. This production uses lightning effects. Met Titles To activate, press the red button to the right of the screen in front of your seat and follow the instructions provided. To turn off the display, press the red button once again. If you have questions please ask an usher at intermission. metopera.org Synopsis A mythical land between the sun and the moon Act I scene 1 scene 2 scene 3 The realm of the Queen of the Night A room in Sarastro s palace Outside Sarastro s temple of wisdom Intermission (AT APPROXIMATELY 2:05 PM) Act II scene 1 scene 2 scene 3 scene 4 scene 5 scene 6 scene 7 scene 8 scene 9 scene 10 The temple s inner sanctum A labyrinth A rose garden A vault in the temple The grand hall of the temple A garden An entrance to the temple A hillside An entrance to the grand hall of the temple Temple of the sun Act I Prince Tamino, pursued by a serpent, is saved by three ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night. After they have left, the birdcatcher Papageno enters. He explains to Tamino that he is given food and drink by the Queen s ladies in return for his birds and claims that it was he who killed the serpent. The ladies return to give Tamino a portrait of the Queen s daughter, Pamina, who they say is being held prisoner by the evil Sarastro. Then they padlock Papageno s mouth for lying. Tamino falls in love with Pamina s portrait at first sight. The Queen appears. She grieves over the loss of her daughter and asks Tamino to rescue her. The ladies hand Tamino a magic flute to ensure his safety on the journey. Papageno, who is to accompany him, is given magic silver bells. Three spirits are appointed to guide them. In Sarastro s palace, the slave Monostatos pursues Pamina. He is frightened away by the arrival of Papageno, who tells Pamina that Tamino loves her and is on his way to save her. Led to Sarastro s temple, Tamino learns from a priest that it is the Queen who is evil, not Sarastro, and that Pamina is safe. He plays on his flute, charming the animals with the music and hoping that it will lead Pamina to him. When he hears the sound of Papageno s pipes, he rushes off to follow it. Monostatos and Visit metopera.org 39 Synopsis CONTINUED his men chase Papageno and Pamina but are rendered helpless by Papageno s magic bells. Sarastro, entering in ceremony, promises Pamina eventual freedom and punishes Monostatos. Pamina is enchanted by a glimpse of Tamino, who is led into the temple with Papageno. Act II Sarastro tells the priests that Tamino will undergo initiation rites. Papageno and Tamino are sworn to silence. The three ladies appear and have no trouble derailing Papageno from his course of virtue, but Tamino remains firm. Monostatos tries to kiss the sleeping Pamina but is chased away by the arrival of the Queen of the Night. She gives her daughter a dagger and orders her to murder Sarastro. Pamina is left alone in tears and consoled by Sarastro who explains that he does not seek vengeance against the Queen. Papageno is quick to break a new oath of fasting and jokes with a flirtatious old lady, who vanishes when he asks for her name. Tamino remains steadfast, breaking Pamina s heart: she cannot understand his silence. The priests inform Tamino that he has only two more trials to complete his initiation. Papageno, who has broken his oath, is eliminated from the trials. Pleading for a wife he eventually settles for the old lady. When he promises to be faithful to her she turns into a young Papagena but immediately disappears. Despairing over Tamino s apparent indifference, Pamina is about to commit suicide but is saved by the three spirits. She finds Tamino and walks with him through the ordeals of water and fire, protected by the magic flute. Papageno also is saved from a halfhearted attempt at suicide by the spirits, who remind him that if he uses his magic bells he will find true happiness. When he plays the bells, Papagena appears and the two are united. The Queen of the Night, her three ladies, and Monostatos attack the temple but are defeated and banished. Sarastro joins Pamina and Tamino as everybody praises the gods Isis and Osiris and the triumph of courage, virtue, and wisdom. 40 In Focus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Die Zauberflöte Premiere: Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna, 1791 Die Zauberflöte a sublime fairy tale that moves freely between earthy comedy and noble mysticism was written for a theater located just outside Vienna with the clear intention of appealing to audiences from all walks of life. The story is told in a Singspiel ( song-play ) format characterized by separate musical numbers connected by dialogue and stage activity, an excellent structure for navigating the diverse moods, ranging from solemn to lighthearted, of the story and score. The composer and the librettist were both Freemasons the fraternal order whose membership is held together by shared moral and metaphysical ideals and Masonic imagery is used throughout the work. The story, however, is as universal as any fairy tale. The Creators Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ( ) died prematurely three months after the premiere of Die Zauberflöte. It was his last produced work for the stage. (The court opera La Clemenza di Tito had its premiere three weeks before Die Zauberflöte, on September 6, 1791, though its score was completed later.) The remarkable Emanuel Schikaneder ( ) was an actor, singer, theater manager, and friend of Mozart. He suggested the idea of Die Zauberflöte, wrote the libretto, staged the work, sang the role of Papageno in the initial run and even recruited his three young sons to join the roster. After Mozart s death, Schikaneder opened the larger Theater an der Wien in the center of Vienna, a venue that has played a key role in the city s musical life from the time of Beethoven to the present day. The former entrance to the theater is called the Papageno Gate, a tribute to both men. The Setting The libretto specifies Egypt as the location of the action. Egypt was traditionally regarded as the legendary birthplace of the Masonic fraternity, whose symbols and rituals populate this opera. Some productions include Egyptian motifs as an exotic nod to this idea, but many others opt for a more generalized mythic ambience to convey the otherworldliness that the score and overall tone of the work call for. Visit metopera.org 41 In Focus CONTINUED The Music Die Zauberflöte was written with an eye toward a popular audience, but the varied tone of the work requires singers who can specialize in several different musical genres. The comic and earthy is represented by the baritone Papageno in his delightful aria Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja from Act I and Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen in Act II with its jovial glockenspiel accompaniment. (The instrument was hardly trivial to the score, considering Mozart himself played it at several performances in the initial run.) Papageno meets his comic match in the Bird-Girl Papagena and their funny (but rather tricky) duet Pa-Pa-Pa. True love in its noblest forms is conveyed by the tenor, Tamino (in Act I s ravishing aria Dies Bildnis ), and the soprano, Pamina (in Act I s graceful Bei Männern and Act II s deceptively transparent Ach, ich fühl s ). The bass, Sarastro, expresses the solemn and the transcendental in Act II s noble O Isis und Osiris and In diesen heil gen Hallen. The Three Ladies have much ensemble work of complex beauty, and even the short scene for the Three Spirits singing to the sunrise has a unique aura of hushed beauty well beyond the conventions of standard popular entertainment of the time. The use of the chorus is spare but hauntingly beautiful. The vocal fireworks are provided by the coloratura Queen of the Night, with her Act I aria O zittre nicht, which is scarcely less pyrotechnic than the more famous Act II Der Hölle Rache. Die Zauberflöte at the Met The Met has a remarkable history of distinguished productions of Die Zauberflöte with extraordinary casts. The opera was first given here in 1900, in Italian, and featured Emma Eames, Andreas Dippel, and Pol Plançon. In 1941 a new production in English featured Jarmila Novotná, Charles Kullman, Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, and a young Eleanor Steber as the First Lady. It was conducted by Bruno Walter, directed by Herbert Graf, and designed by Richard Rychtarik. The legendary 1967 production, with designs by Marc Chagall, featured Josef Krips conducting Pilar Lorengar, Nicolai Gedda, Lucia Popp, Hermann Prey, Rosalind Elias, and Jerome Hines. The Mozart anniversary year of 1991 saw the debut of a production designed by David Hockney and directed by John Cox and Guus Mostart, with James Levine conducting Kathleen Battle, Francisco Araiza, Luciana Serra, Kurt Moll, and Wolfgang Brendel. The present production by Julie Taymor, with sets designed by George Tsypin, costumes by Ms. Taymor, and choreography by Mark Dendy, opened in 2004 with James Levine conducting a cast including Dorothea Röschmann, Matthew Polenzani, L ubica Vargicová, Rodion Pogossov, and Kwangchul Youn. 42 Program Note Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first met the actor manager Emanuel Schikaneder in September 1780, when the latter s touring company played in Salzburg. Frustrated by the absence of operatic activity in his native city, Mozart nourished his theatrical passion with visiting theater troupes: Schikaneder presented not only Singspiels (plays with music) and popular comedies, but also plays by Shakespeare, Lessing, Goldoni, and Gozzi. Before leaving for Munich in early November to complete and perform Idomeneo (his first operatic commission since 1775), Mozart promised his new friend an aria for use in Gozzi s play The Two Sleepless Nights and belatedly sent it back to Salzburg. Their careers would overlap more than once when Mozart moved to Vienna in 1781, but their immortal collaboration came about after 1789, when Schikaneder took over the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, one of several in Vienna s suburbs catering to popular fare. In addition to the Singspiel, the characteristic genres were comic plays in the Hanswurst tradition (based, like the Italian commedia dell arte, on character types) and a new kind known as Zauberoper (magic opera), drawn from folk tales (genuine and manufactured) and featuring spectacular scenic effects. At this time Mozart s financial fortunes had receded from the success of his early Vienna years, and in 1790 the succession to the Austrian throne of Leopold II, who had never admired his music, significantly reduced his prospects of a permanent imperial appointment. History preserves conflicting accounts of varying reliability about how Mozart came to collaborate with Schikaneder on a new Zauberoper, but it seems likely that he was brought on board in the early part of The libretto, which bears Schikaneder s name, has been traced to numerous ancestors, ranging from Chrétien de Troyes s Arthurian romance Yvain (then recently reprinted in German) to Christoph Martin Wieland s 1786 collection of fairy tales, Dschinnistan, already exploited for a 1790 Schikaneder production called Der Stein der Weisen. A few details may have even been poached from a June 1791 production at a rival Viennese theater. Though often criticized for inconsistencies and absurdities, the text appears to be characteristic of the genre, with a significant exception: its prominent incorporation of allusions to Freemasonry. A rationalist humanitarian movement that flourished during the Enlightenment, Freemasonry spread widely in Europe and even to the New World (Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were Masons). Its ethical and political implications were often unwelcome to absolute monarchs, and in Austria the climate blew hot and cold. Under Joseph II its reception was at first warm, then more restrictive. Eventually, in 1793, Francis II closed the Masonic lodges. Mozart himself had been initiated into a Viennese lodge in 1784, and Schikaneder joined one in Regensburg in 1788, though his subsequent status remains cloudy in the historical record. In the Zauberflöte libretto, the brotherhood of Sarastro s temple is clearly a representation of the Masonic order, possibly based on the treatise On the Visit metopera.org 43 Program Note CONTINUED Mysteries of the Egyptians by the distinguished Viennese Mason and scientist Ignaz von Born, who has also been proposed as a model for the opera s wise and generous high priest. In addition to the central tale s lofty idealism, the work incorporates aspects of Masonic ritual, including the stages of the initiation process whereby Tamino and Pamina at one level and Papageno on a lower plane achieve virtue and happiness. The most obvious symbolism is the prevalence of the sacred number three: three ladies, three spirits, three trials (silence, fire, and water) in the libretto, and in the music the three solemn chords that open the overture (and recur later) and the central key of E-flat major (written with three flats). Illustrations of the original scenery confirm the use of Masonic motifs in the stage decor (some derived from ancient Egyptian iconography). However, the eventual acceptance of Pamina into the priestly order on an equal status with Tamino is a departure from Masonic practice (it was an all-male brotherhood) and surprising in view of occasional anti-feminist sentiments earlier in the libretto. While working on Die Zauberflöte, Mozart had another commission: an opera for the September festivities in Prague celebrating Leopold II s coronation as King of Bohemia. (The request originated not from Leopold, but from the theater in Prague where Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni had won their greatest successes.) La Clemenza di Tito was to open on September 6, 1791, so Mozart had to spend the end of August and the first weeks of September in Prague. In his personal catalogue of his works, the main entry for Die Zauberflöte is simply dated In July ; he added the overture and the March of the Priests (opening the second act) on September 28, just two days before the opening. Mozart himself conducted the first two performances of Die Zauberflöte, in which Schikaneder played Papageno, a role he had tailored to his own talents. The Queen of the Night s top F s were a specialty of Josepha Hofer, older sister of Mozart s wife, Constanze. Anna Gottlieb, who played Pamina, had sung Barbarina in the premiere of Figaro at the age of 12. The new opera was a popular success, notching 24 performances by November 6, and Mozart invited Haydn, Salieri, and other musical connoisseurs to attend as his guests. Describing the performance of October 7 in a letter to Constanze, he reports the full house and the encores and adds that what pleases me most is the silent applause one can readily see how much this opera continues to grow. But the triumph came none too soon. Late in November, Mozart became seriously ill, and he died on December 5; it is said that during his final delirium he followed in his imagination that evening s performance of his last opera. Through its history, Die Zauberflöte has elicited diverse reactions, including objections to its mixture of genres and quibbling about the libretto. The many and rapid scene changes constituted a major technical challenge: before the Berlin premiere in 1792, the National Theater s director informed King William 44 II that it seems to have been the author s intention to crowd together every conceivable difficulty for the stage-designer and technicians, and a work has thus been created whose sole merit is visual splendor. In fact, the opera has often attracted visual artists. Among the most well known designs are those by Karl Friedrich Schinkel for an 1816 Berlin production, notably the oft-reproduced starry dome for the appearance of the Queen of the Night. Twentieth-century designers who have taken on Die Zauberflöte include Serge Soudeikine (Met, 1926), Caspar Neher (Salzburg, 1949), Oskar Kokoschka (Salzburg, 1955), Marc Chagall (Met, 1967), Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (Salzburg, 1978), David Hockney (Glyndebourne, 1978, and Met, 1991), and Maurice Sendak (Houston, 1981). During its history, the work has frequently been gussied up and sometimes down. Perhaps the most radical adaptation was offered by the Paris Opera in 1801 under the title Les Mystères d Isis, with renamed characters and music interpolated from other Mozart operas and even from Haydn s Symphony No More recently, W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, translating the libretto for a TV production, were moved to reorder some episodes of Act II, and Ingmar Bergman undertook similar alterations for his idiosyncratic 1975 film, made at Sweden s Drottningholm Theater. On a more elevated plane was the sequel planned but never completed by the admiring Goethe: according to the faithful Eckermann, the great man found the original work full of improbabilities and jokes which not everyone is capable of understanding and appreciating; but it must in any case be admitted that the author understood to a high degree the art of making effective use of contrasts and of producing great theatrical effects. Die Zauberflöte rem
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