Die Zauberflote was composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The work is in the form of a Singspiel that includes both singing and spoken dialogue. The opera was premiered on 30th September 1791, about three months before Mozart died. Mozart himself conducted the Orchestra Freihaustheater auf der Wieden, Wien. The librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder sang the role of Papageno.
This opera is widely known for its masonic allegory. For example, the opening bars of the overture are reminiscent of the second degree knocks on the door. Mozart and Schikaneder were masons. Throughout the opera, the masonic symbolism is easily seen and particularly during the trials in the Temple of Wisdom.
The Queen of the Night's aria , 'Der Holle Rache Kocht in Meinem Herzen' is the most well known of all time and is the greatest aria written ever for a coloratura soprano. This difficult aria demands a two range octave and a lyric soprano voice dramatic enough to convey the emotional brevity of the scene.
If Mozart had attended the performance of Diana Damrau under Sir Colin Davis and the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, he would have shed tears of ecstacy. I am convinced that this is the best and most complete experience of this opera that we could get. This production gives detail that is astounding. Enormous work has gone into the elaborate costumes and stage designs. They are briliantly captured by the camera. The lighting gives nuances between the night and daylight scenes. It seems very natural. Sir Colin Davis has brought magic to this Zauberflote.