So this past week in Music History I have been doing an assignment where I had to take a couple of arias from a couple of Mozart Operas and analyze them and write a little about each one. One of the arias that I talked about in my paper was an aria called "O Isis und Osiris" from the opera "Die Zauberflöte" or 'the magic flute'. Here is the basic idea of what happens in that opera:
In the first act, Tamino is introduced. He is a prince who being chased by a snake, faints and is rescued by three ladies; servents of the queen of the night. Papageno, a bird watcher who needs a girlfriend appears, as Tamino is coming to. Papageno lies to Tamino and tells him that he saved him when it was actually the three ladies. The Ladies appear and punish Papageno by rendering him speechless by means of a padlock on his mouth. They then show Tamino a picture of a lovely maiden with whom (of course) he instantly falls in love with and would do anything for. The Queen of the night then appears and tells Tamino that the maiden's name is Pamina and is her daughter, tells Tamino that he can marry her if he rescues her. The queen then departs. The three ladies give Tamino a magic flute to change the hearts of men, unlock Papageno's face and give him some magic bells of protection, and send them both on a quest to rescue Pamina from Sarastro, an enemy to the queen. At the end of the first act, everyone has been captured by Sarastro and Papageno and Tamino are taken toward the Temple of Ordeal.
Act 2 begins on the way to the Temple. It is determined that Tamino and Pamina are to be married and that Tamino is to succeed Sarastro in Sarastro's secret society as long as he passes all the ordeals. Tamino is told that the Queen of the night is bad and she tries to rule with trickery and deception. Sarastro then sings the aria Isis und Osiris as a prayer to protect Tamino and Pamina. The ordeals begin with the promise that if Tamino is triumphant he will save Pamina. Papageno also takes the trial with the promise of a woman for him too. At the end of various trials, Tamino and Pamina are united and celebrated for their success in the trails and Papegano wins the lovely Papagena, the Queen and her three maidens are cast into everlasting night and everyone else lives happily ever after.
Wow! Queens of Darkness, secret societies, bells of protection, a flute to change the heart of someone, magic? Now you can't tell me thats not a little nerdy. Now even though Mozart didn't write the words to the opera, he did work with Emanuel Schikaneder, the guy who did and I imagine that Mozart could have changed elements of the plot if he wanted to... but he didn't. You know, I bet that had Mozart been born in the 1980's he would have grown up playing D&D and would at this very moment be playing World of Warcraft. He would probably also compose some of the best metal that anyone has ever heard and could probably play guitar with the greats. The masterpieces that he would write would be for movies with epic plots with swords, dragons, Queens of Darkness, secret societies, bells of protection, a flute to change the heart of someone, magic and it would probably rival StarWars on the scale of awesome nerdyness.... And this would all be done from the comfort of his mother's basement. just sayin'.
Now the best part about all of this is that like most nerds, Mozart was really really smart. If you read into all the symbols of this opera, it really tells quite a different story.