NEW YORK OPERA FORUM
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
QUEEN OF THE NIGHT..................CATHERINE HERATY
1st LADY/1st SPIRIT.................CYNTHIA LEIGH
2nd LADY/2nd SPIRIT.................ALANA TRIMMIER
3rd LADY/3rd SPIRIT.................LAURA KATE GARNER
1st ARMORED MAN.....................AARON BLANKFIELD
2nd ARMORED MAN.....................MICHAEL O'HEARN
DIE BÖSARTIGE SCHLANGE..............ERIC CARTMANN
PIANIST/MUSIC DIRECTOR..............RICHARD NECHAMKIN
A rocky landscape. Tamino, a handsome young prince, is fleeing from a serpent. He faints and falls to the ground, whereupon three Ladies, attendants of the Queen of the Night, enter and kill the serpent. They argue as to who should stay with the attractive youth while the other two go to tell the Queen about him, but eventually all three agree to leave together. Tamino awakens and is astonished to find the serpent dead at his feet. Papageno, who catches birds for the Queen of the Night in exchange for food and drink, appears and claims he killed the serpent with his bare hands. He is punished for lying when the three Ladies return with water and a stone instead of the expected cake and wine, and place a padlock on his mouth. They give Tamino a portrait of the Queen's daughter, Pamina, and the Queen herself appears and promises Tamino her daughter's hand if he will rescue her from the wicked Sarastro. The Ladies unlock Papageno's mouth and tell him he is to accompany Tamino on his mission.
Both are given a magic instrument – Tamino a flute and Papageno a set of bells - to protect them from danger, and they are told that three Spirits will guide them on their way.
A splendid room in Sarastro's Temple. Monostatos, Sarastro's Moorish servant, is attempting to seduce Pamina when Papageno enters. Equally terrified at the sight of each other, he and Monostatos flee in opposite directions, but Papageno soon returns and introduces himself to Pamina. He tells her that a handsome Prince has been sent by her mother to rescue her, and together they sing of the virtues of human love.
Outside the Temples of Reason, Nature and Wisdom. The three Spirits lead in Tamino and urge him to be steadfast, patient and discreet. Left alone, Tamino tries to enter each of the three doors in turn; voices from within order him to retreat from the first two, but at the third door, marked Wisdom, an old priest, the Speaker, appears. He calmly explains that Sarastro is not evil - he is in fact the ruler of the Temple of Wisdom - and that a woman's word should not have been trusted. Prevented by a sacred oath from revealing more, he withdraws, but voices from within promise Tamino that he will see the light soon or never, and that Pamina is still alive. Thankful for this, he plays his flute and an answering call on Papageno's panpipe is heard. Hoping that Pamina is with his friend, he goes off in search of the couple, just missing them as they hurry in from another direction. They hear Tamino's flute and are a about to run after the sound when Monostatos and his Slaves intercept them. Papageno remembers his magic bells and is delighted when the slaves dance away bewitched. Fanfares and an off-stage chorus announce the approach of Sarastro; when he appears Pamina begs his forgiveness for attempting to run away, explaining that she wished to escape from Monostato's advances. Having captured Tamino, the Moor now brings him in and is outraged when, reocognizing each other, the young couple embrace. Sarastro, however, treats the lovers with kindness and sends them away to undergo trials of purification, while Monostato's unhoped-for reward is 77 lashes
A clearing in a palm grove. The Priests process in and Sarastro announces that Tamino wishes to join their order. He assures the Priests of the Prince's virtues, and explains that the Gods had destined Pamina for Tamino, which is why he took her away from her mother. Two Priests are appointed as instructors to Tamino and Papageno and all join in a prayer to the Gods Isis and Osiris.
A courtyard of the Temple at night. Tamino and Papageno are lead in by tow Priests and left alone. Tamino reproaches his friend for being afraid and the Priests return to question their willingness to undergo the trials of initiation. Both agree - Papageno with some hesitation - and after accepting a vow of silence they are left in darkness. The three Ladies appear and try to tempt them back into the Queen of the Night's service, but the voices from within invoke Hell upon them and they vanish from sight.
A garden. Monostatos finds Pamina asleep and is about to assault her when the Queen of the Night appears. He retreats to eavesdrop. The Queen, having learned from Pamina that Tamino has joined the Initiates, gives her daughter a dagger with which she must kill Sarastro, and departs. Monostatos reappears, takes the dagger from Pamina and threatens to betray her unless she yields to him. Sarastro intervenes and to Pamina's entreaties on behalf of her mother assures her that vengeance is unknown in his Temple.
Another part of the Temple. The two Priests bring in Tamino and Papgeno and then leave. Papageno longs for a drink, and a cup of water is promptly brought to him by and ugly old woman who claims to be his lover. He readily chats with her but a clap of thunder sends her hobbling off before he can discover her name. The three Boys enter, give Tamino and Papageno their magic instruments and invite them to partake of a meal which rises up from the ground. Papageno digs in, but Tamino plays his flute, the sound of which brings Pamina running in. Greeted only by silence, she thinks he no longer loves her and leaves in despair. A three-fold chord summons the Prince and his companion.
The interior of a Pyramid. The Priests praise the Gods for Tamino's worthiness to enter their order, and he and Pamina are brought in and told to bid each other a last farewell; they are taken away separately and the Priests exit. Papageno enters and finds himself trapped by flames. The second Priest returns to tell him he will never know the joys of the initiated, but Papageno is unperturbed; all he wants in a glass of wine, which he duly receives. He then begins to feel longing for a little wife, whereupon the old woman returns to say that he must take her as his wife or be locked up alone. No sooner has he accepted her than she is transformed into a young girl, but the Priest quickly sends her away.
A palm garden. The three Spirits watch as Pamina approaches with her mother's dagger, intending to kill herself. They stop her just in time and assure her that Tamino still loves her.