The Magic Flute

Perspectives from Ancient Greece on Mozart’s Queen of the Night

06.10.2021 | By Renée S. Landzberg §0. Concepts of femininity from the Classical period pervade deeply through the Classical era of classical music, latter epitomized by the composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is not surprising then to see parallel traits in the mythological construct of Hērā, Queen of the Gods, and the Queen of the Night from Mozart’s hugely popular opera, The Magic Flute. A longstanding fascination with the classical… Read more

Comments on comparative mythology 7, finding a cure for the anger of Hērā

2020.04.03 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In a previous essay, Classical Inquiries 2020.03.20, I highlighted some ancient artwork picturing the hero Hēraklēs being breast-fed by the goddess Hērā after he was brought back to life after death. In the present essay, I will analyze the mythological background, showing that the ultimate benevolence of Hērā toward Hēraklēs, as manifested in the act of breast-feeding, had to be preceded by the malevolence… Read more

On Ingmar Bergman’s Queen of the Night in his film version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute

2017.10.26 | By Gregory Nagy This briefest of essays is about two arias sung by a character known as The Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte or The Magic Flute of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which premiered in 1791, with German-language libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. I focus for a moment on the music and the words of these two arias as visualized by Ingmar Bergman in his Swedish-language film version… Read more