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Die Zauberflte, Masonic Opera,


and Other Fairy Tales
Article in Acta Musicologica January 2004

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1 author:
David J. Buch
University of Northern Iowa
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Die Zauberfl?te, Masonic Opera,

Fairy Tales*

J.Buch

David
Cedar

and Other

Falls, Iowa

term

The

isoften applied to Mozart's Die Zauberfl?te to indicate per


in the form of a hidden coherent allegory with a complex
of the order's symbols and initiation rituals. This view has been influential

'Masonic opera'

vasive Masonic

content

representation
inmusicology and other

scholarly writing,1 but a review of the primary sources reveals that


it is speculative, with no compelling evidence to support its broad claims. Moreover, some
evidence suggests that the 'Masonic opera' theory is an unlikely interpretation. Allegory
and symbolism

somewhat

function

differently
isknown to have communicated

at this time and no eighteenth itsmeaning so indirectly, leaving essential

in opera

century singspiel
and ubiquitous content to be deciphered
by a small group possessing the code.
has been ex
The historical context for the opera, fairy-tale singspiel or M?rchenoper,
a
not
in
the
twentieth
century has been
single scholarly study
plored only superficially;
devoted to this operatic tradition. Some modern writers have even derisively dismissed

A review of fairy-tale opera will reveal that


this aspect as unworthy of consideration.
are present
in previous operas
most musical and dramatic elements
inDie Zauberfl?te
with no demonstrable
Masonic content. These works situate Die Zauberfl?te
in an ac
on the question of
and provide much needed perspective
a
notion
of
While
the
coherent
Masonic
symbolism.
complex,
allegory does
a
not withstand
to
few passages
in the libretto appear
have been drawn from
scrutiny,
sources. Here
Iwill suggest a plausible explanation
Masonic
for the presence
of this
curate

theatrical

context

Masonic

material

the reasons

and review

that one

should not assume

a more

prevalent

symbolic reference to Freemasonry.


Itmight seem odd that some 210 years after the premiere of Die Zauberfl?te
continue to debate the most basic level of the opera's content. Unfortunately,

An

earlier

version

1.

of the American
given as a paper at the annual meeting
Dame,
IN, 2 April 1998.1 wish to thank Michel Noiray,
comments
and suggestions.

of this article was

for Eighteenth-century
and Peter Branscombe

Studies,
for their

Notre

use of

scholars
distor

Society
John Rice

see James Stevens Curl,


The Art and Architecture
An Introductory Study,
For example,
of Freemasonry:
and Magnus Olausson,
Occultism
and the Picturesque
Woodstock,
N.Y., 1993,135-68,
'Freemasonry,
in: Art History, 8 (1985), 413-33. These
Garden
towards
the End of the Eighteenth
authors
Century',
on the assumption
dire almost
base their arguments
that the decoration
and imagery inDie Zauberfl?te
entirely Masonic.

David

194

still
biographies, particularly in regard to Die Zauberfl?te,
and
modern
about the commission
scholarship. The lack of documentation
deification
in the
the opera was (and remains) problematic. The composer's
association with
of German
'masters' following his death, and his subsequent
tion

in early Mozart

J.Buch

influences
genesis

of

pantheon

burgeon
to
led
holes
in
national
German
When
the
Mozart's
identity,
hagiography.
biography
ing
commentators
in
needed plugging, rumor and imagination filled the gaps. High-minded
of
Die
the
Zauber
the late eighteenth-century
generally disapproved
popularly styled

fl?te.2 By the nineteenth


century the prevailing idea of a 'genius's work of art' required
serious and coherent
'masterpieces'. Thus many read into the libretto a sophistication
and profundity to match their regard for Mozart's music, and allegorical interpretations
of the libretto served this aim. Ignorance of concurrent repertory allowed for a myth of
singularity and autonomy, both for the opera and for its composer. A variety of inter
that would be
still thrives in this vacuum, unhampered
by the contradictions
pretations
of the theatrical context
raised by an examination
Masonic

Opera

Paul Nettl,

the

first modern

scholar

a detailed

to advance

of the

scheme

symbolic
libretto and score of Die Zauberfl?te,
asserted that the opera contains
a pervasive allegorical subtext depicting various Masonic rituals and symbols.3 Jacques
this view, finding indications of Masonic symbolism
in almost every
Chailley expanded
content

of the

number, and suggesting that these form a coherent whole.4 Yet neither
a narrative allegory; rather they suggested a symbolic
Nettl nor Chailley demonstrated
a discernable
linear plot.
complex of language, image, and music without
scene and musical

of scholars appear to have accepted the general thrust of the Masonic read
in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera5 writes that while
For
ing.
example, Julian Rushton
the libretto is basically
'different significations' of the opera coexist
simultaneously,

A number

an allegory,
2.

Examples
Ausgabe

intended

by the

librettist, Emanuel

Schikaneder,

are given
in Otto
Erich Deutsch,
"Mozart:
Serie
s?mtlicher Werke
10, Werkgruppe
[NMA]

Die
34

and Mozart

seines

Dokumente
(Kassel,

1961),

as a 'coded

in: Neue
Lebens",
a 1791 review

including

inthe MusikalischesWochenblatt (page 358) and comments of Karl von Zinzendorf (page 360). Also
in Manfred
review
'Eine zeitgen?ssische
Kritik an der
the deprecatory
Schuler,
(1793) discussed
der
Internationalen
Mozarteum,
"Zauberfl?te"',
Stiftung
39/1-4
(1991), 125-31.
Mitteilungen
der <Zauberfl?te>,
und die k?nigliche Kunst. Die freimaurerischen
Mozart
See Paul Nettl,
Grundlagen
see

3.

der <Zauberf1?te>',
Bericht ?ber die
und die freimaurerische
'<Sethos>
Berlin,
1932;
Grundlage
in Salzburg, Leipzig,
1932, 142-9;
musikwissenschaftliche
Stiftung Mozarteum
Tagung der Interntionalen
a. M, 1955,
in:W. A. Mozart,
Frankfurt
'Die k?nigliche
und Freimaurermusik',
Kunst. Die Freimaurerie
and the Magic Flute', in: Opera News,
20/17 (1956), 8-10; and Musik und Freimaurerei,
and Masonry, New York, 1957.
1956, trans., Mozart
du livret et de la musique,
Essai d'explication
La Fl?te enchant?e:
Op?ra ma?onnique.
Jacques Chailley,
see Chailley's,
in der
"Die Symbolik
Paris, 1968, 2/1983;
1972. Also
English trans. Herbert Weinstock,
in: LAvant
in:Mozart-Jahrbuch
;and "La Fl?te enchant?e,
Zauberfl?te",
opera ma?onnique",
i?6y, 100-10
1
sc?ne Op?ra,
(1976), 82-9.
in: NGroveDO,
and New
ed. Stanley
"Die Zauberfl?te",
York,
Sadie, 4 vols. (London
Rushton,
Julian
145-54;

'Masonry

Esslingen,

4.

5.

1992),

IV 1215-18,

and

"Mozart",

in: NGroveDO,

III,489-503.

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

FairyTales

and Other

195

of Freemasonry.' Rushton asserts that the composer made a significant


representation
in this regard: 'Mozart transformed
the Singspiel into an allegory of his own
contribution
In
to Freemasonry'.
commitment
another article in the same dictionary,
quasi-religious
as representing but one example of Masonic opera,
Die Zauberfl?te
in the eighteenth
century.6 But the author provides no
suggesting that others existed
as facts rather than
evidence to support this assertion. All these claims are presented

Cecil Hill describes

as speculation.
inthe libretto
Both Nettl and Chailley base their theory on the wording of a few dialogues
and the presence of Egyptian and Masonic
of the opera's
images on the frontispiece
to
do
Masonic
libretto.
have
The
similarities
dialogues
writings,
original
specifically the
French novel Sethos by Jean Terrasson7
and Ignaz von Bom's essay,
pseudo-Egyption
?ber die Mysterien der ?gyptier (1784) .8The strongest similarity to Terrasson's material
is found in act 2, scene 1, the dialogue and aria with chorus (n?. 11 inMozart's autograph
to Hymn 1 in Book 1 and the
score), "O Isis und Osiris," which bears a resemblance
in Book 3. Let us compare

hymn

these

act 2, scene

first Schikaneder's

texts,

1:

Zweiter

Aufzug
Erste Auftritt

Das
eine Pyramide

sind silberartig, die Bl?tter


und ein gro?es, schwarzes

Sarasto

anderen

Alle B?ume

nebst

Priestern

Hand.

Theater

Horn mit Gold gefa?t


die gr??ten B?ume.

kommen

Ein Marsch

ist ein Palmenwald;


18 Sitze von Bl?ttern.

von Gold,

mit

in feierlichen Schritten,
blasenden
Instrumenten

[Nr. 9. Marsch

Sarasto
Osiris

jeder mit
begleitet

Pforte

Zeit

ist. Tamino,

unseres

Tempels

In "Masonic

Palmenzweige
den Zug.

ein K?nigssohn,
seufzet mit

und

zwanzig
tugendvollem

Music",

'masonic

in der

der Priester]

Jahre seines
Herzen

der gro?en G?ttin


eine der wichtigsten
an der n?rdlichen

Alters, wandelt
nach einem Gegenstande,

in:NGroveD,
ed. Stanley Sadie, London and New
and accepts
operas'
Chailley's
speculations
apparently
critical review
raised by scholars, most notably Peter Branscombe's
and
La Fl?te enchant?e,
Paris, 1979, 246-48,
Hocquard,
Jean-Victor
and Viennese
6
Man and Nature IL'Homme et la Nature,
Opinion",

of

einem

[Sarasto, Sprecher, Priester].


Diener
Ihr, in dem Weisheitstempel
eingeweihten
(nach einer Pause).
und Isis!Mit reiner Seele erkl?r ich euch, da? unsere heutige Versammlung

unserer

6.

Auf einem jeden Sitze steht


In der Mitte die gr??te Pyramide, auch

den wir

II,755, Cecil Hill writes


regard to the objections
inMusic & Letters, 53 (1972), 434-36,
"The Magic Flute
Jay Macpherson,
York,

1980,

without

argues
(1987), 161-72. Macpherson
are
context.
with
the contemporary
inconsistent
"Masonic
John Morehen,
allegories
in: The Music Review, 42 (1981), 215-24, char
Instrumental Music of the Eighteenth
Century: A Survey",
as 'contentious',
acterizes Chailley's
and Robert Wangerm?e,
de 'La
interpretation
"Quelques
myst?res
Fl?te enchant?e'",
in: Revue Belge de Musicologie,
34/35 (1980/81),
147-63, cites the lack of a documented

that Masonic

on the stage.
of initiation mysteries
de l'ancienne Egypte d'un
anecdotes
Sethos, histoire ou vie tir?e des monuments,
Jean Terrasson,
manuscrit
trans., Mathias Claudius,
grec. 3 vols., Paris, 1731, Amsterdam,
1732, German
pas
1777. These
W. A. Mozart: Die Zauberfl?te,
Handbooks,
sages are given in full in Peter Branscombe,
Cambridge
Opera
tradition

7.

Abb?

8.

222-23.
Cambridge,
1991,10-18,
Ignaz von Born, "?ber die Mysterien
are given
in Branscombe,
20-25.

der ?gyptier",

in '.Journal f?r Freimaurer,

Vienna,

1784. Again,

these

David

196

und Flei? erringen m?ssen.


des gr??ten
ins Heiligtum

alle mit M?he

freundschaftlich
Erster

Priester

Sarasto.

Auch

Lichtes

sei heute

Er besitzt

(steht auf).

Tugend!
Priester.

Zweiter

zu bieten,

die Hand

Schleier
J?ngling will seinen n?chtlichen
zu bewachen,
blicken. Diesen
Tugenhaften
seine unsrer wichtigsten
Pflichten.

Kurz, dieser

und

sich rei?en

J.Buch

von
ihm

Tugend?

Verschwiegenheit?

Sarasto.

Verschwiegenheit!
Priester.
Istwohlt?tig?
Dritter
Haltet
Sarasto. Wohlt?tig!

so folgt meinem
in die
ihr ihn f?r w?rdig,
Beispiele.
(Sie blasen dreimal
dankt Sarastro euch
?ber die Einigkeit eurer Herzen,
im Namen
der Menschheit.
H?rner.) Ger?hrt
seinen Tadel ?ber uns Eingeweihte
immer das Vorurteil
auslassen! Weisheit
und Vernunft
Mag
es gleich dem Spinnengewebe.
Unsere
zerst?ckt
S?ulen
ersch?ttern
sie nie. Jedoch das b?se
Vorurteil
Kunst

soll schwinden
wird.

besitzen

und es wird

sobald Tamino

schwinden,

selbst

M?dchen,
Pamina, das sanfte, tugendhafte
warum
?stder Grundstein,
ich sie der stolzen

dies
J?ngling bestimmt;
sich gro? zu sein, hofft durch

Blendwerk

Sprecher
(steht auf). Gro?er
auch die
allein wird Tamino

harten

unserer

die Gr??e

haben

die G?tter

Mutter

entri?.

schweren

dem

holden

Das Weib

d?nkt

und Aberglauben
das Volk zu ber?cken
und unsern festen
zu
zerst?ren.
der
das
soll
sie
nicht.
holde
soll ihn mit
Tamino,
selbst,
Allein,
Tempelbau
J?ngling
uns befestigen
und als Eingeweihter
der Tugend
Lohn, dem Laster aber Strafe sein. (Der dreimalige
Akkord mit den H?rnern wird von allen wiederholt.)

Sprecher.
Sarastro.

er

mehr-

und er dem

ihn verlie?e

sein Geist

Reden

so seiner warten,
bangt es um den

Pr?fungen,
zu err?ffnen!
Mich

Zweifel

frei bin, dir meinen


dahingesunken,
Sarastro. Noch

deine weisheitsvollen

Sarastro,

harten

Kampf

erkennen

und bewundern

Verzeih,
bek?mpfen?
nun,
J?ngling. Wenn

da?

wir;
ich so

im Schmerz

Er ist Prinz.

unterl?ge.

ist Mensch!

Wenn

er nun aber

Dann

ist er Osiris

in seiner
und

fr?hen

Jugend leblos erbla?te?


und wird der G?tter
Freuden

Isis gegeben

fr?her

f?hlen

als wir.

Man f?hre Tamino mit seinem Reisegef?hrten


in den Vorhof
(Der dreimaliger Akkord wird wiederholt.)
des Tempels
ein. (Zum Sprecher, der vor ihm niederkniet.)
Und du, Freund, den die G?tter
durch uns
zum Verteidiger
vollziehe
dein heiliges Amt
und lehre durch deine
der Wahrheit
bestimmten.
erkennen.
Weisheit
beide, was Pflicht der Menschheit
sei, lehre sie die Macht der G?tter
(Sprecher
geht mit einem Priester ab, alle Priester
[Nr. 10. Arie mit Chor]
Sarastro.

stellen

schenket
Isis und Osiris,
Geist dem neuen

Der Weisheit

ihr der Wandrer

Die
St?rkt
Chor.

mit Geduld

mit Geduld

St?rkt

Schritte
sie

sie

sich mit

ihren Palmenzweigen

zusammen.)

Paar!
lenket,

inGefahr.

inGefahr.

sie der Pr?fung Fr?chte


sehen;
sollten sie zu Graben
gehen,
So lohnt der Tugend
k?hnen
Lauf,
auf.
Nehmt
sie in euren Wohnsitz

Sarastro.

La?t

Doch

Chor.

Nehmt

sie

(Sarastro

9.

In his
the

in euren Wohnsitz

geht

voraus, dann

letter of 8-9 October,


scene.' He was

'solemn

auf.
alle

ihm nach ab.)9

to his wife Constanze,


1791, addressed
an
at the theatre with
evening
describing

Mozart
a man

referred
he held

as
to this merely
This
in low esteem.

man

later] 'zeugten ?ber alles recht sehr ihren beifall, aber Er, der allwissende,
[the name was cancelled
so
ihn einen Esel heissen m?ssen;
sehr
den
da?
ich nicht bleiben
ich h?tte
konnte, oder
bayern,
zeigte
war
ich eben drinnen
als der 2:te Ackt
anfieng,
folglich bey der feyerlichen
Ungl?cklseeligerweise
- er
ihn auf einige Reden
machen
aufmerksam
ich gedult genug
Scene.
belachte
alles; anfangs hatte
zu vielhat.'
ich glaube aber nicht da? es der dalk verstanden
und gieng fort
ich heiss ihn Papageno,

Mozart

made

by modern

no mention

writers

to

of any kind of allegory or Masonic


as doing so.
his words

interpret

content

here,

despite

repeated

attempts

are the two

Here

Book!,

from Claudius's

hymns

stanza4:
Gott der durch

Horus,

FairyTales

and Other

Masonic Opera,

Die Zauberfl?te,

of Sethos:

translation

die Weisheit

197

erworbenen

Verschwiegenheit,

Der du die unschuldige schwache Kindheit


auf dem Wege
Jedes Dinges
Erhalte einem Prinzen, der
den

Einen Beystand,
Deine Mutter

zu seiner
noch

dir selbst

Reise

Kind, dein
in seinem

g?nglest;
Blut, dein

Ebenbild

ist,

Alter

hat.

Isis geleistet

Inthe middle of Book III:


O

Isis, grosse

Beschwerlichkeit
seiner

Seele,

zugelassen

Schikaneder
differences:

der so viel Gefahren


und
der Egypter, gieb deinen Geist dem neuen Diener,
ihn auch sieghaft
inden Proben
Mache
?berstanden
hat, um vor dir zu erscheinen.
zu deinen Genheimnissen
damit er w?rdig werde,
und lehre sein Herz deine Gesetze,
G?ttin

zu werden.

loosely paraphrased Terrasson's text for his scene. There are


Isis and Osiris, while the first hymn is directed to Horus,
addresses

seems to have
Sarastro

in the hymns.
like Isis,Weisheit, Verschwiegenheit, Prinz, and G?ttin der Egypter do occur in both
that Schikaneder
intended any allegorical meaning
but these do not demonstrate

is never even mentioned

who
Words
texts,

inDie Zauberfl?te.

one

in using them. At the most

Nor

isOsiris mentioned

can safely say that Schikaneder

likely drew

upon Sethos

his own text.

in creating
isfrom the finale of act 2, scene 28,
The second example of a text derived from Terrasson
armor.
men
the
is perhaps less similar than
scene
in
Here
black
for the two
the
wording
that in the previous example, but the meaning seems closer:
Die

schwarzgeharnischten
wandert
Der, welcher

Wird

M?nner
diese

Stra?e

Wenn

Feuer, Wasser,
er des Todes
Schrecken

Schwingt
Erleuchtet

er sich aus der


wird

er dann

Sich den Mysterien

Terrasson's

text

Wer

diesen Weg
Feuer, das Wasser
wird er aus dem
das Recht

haben,

der

voll Beschwerden,

Luft und Erden;


?berwinden
kann,

rein durch

Erde Himmel
im st?nde
Isis ganz

(translated

an.

sein,
zu weihn.

by Claudius)

is as follows:

allein geht, und ohne hinter sich zu sehen, der wird gereinigt
er das Schrecken
des Todes
und durch die Luft; und wenn
und das Licht wieder
der Erde wieder
Schooss
herausgehen,
seine

Seele

zu der Offenbarung

der Geheimnisse

der grossen

werden

durch

?berwinden
sehen,
G?ttin

das
kann,

und er wird
Isis gefasst

zu machen!

concern wandering
(fire, water, air, and earth) to be
through the elements
it is plausible that this was
the fear of death in the process. While
purified, overcoming
no
source for the duet, there is
Schikaneder's
justification to interpret it in a broader
Both texts

allegorical context. Moreover,


elements. At least two other

this was

not the only time Schikaneder


referred to the
librettos, with no known allegorical content, use similar

David

198

J.Buch

1795),10 the quintet in


language. Inhis libretto to Der H?llenberg (premiere, 23 November,
act 2, scene 7 begins with an invocation by the magician Harmonesus
to his four spirits:
Hervor
Entrei?t

aus dem

Dunkel

ihr sichtbaren

der ewig euch denkenden


ihrm?chtigen
diesem Manne

euch

Zeigt euch
Durch Wasser

und Feuer,

und

Geister,
Kluft;
Geister,

Erde und Luft!

ideas of wandering
and the power of the elements are also invoked by two priests
in Schikaneder's
25 October
1797), in the act 2 finale:
Babylons Piramiden (premiere,
sie."11 The elements are also part
"Hier im Feuer, wandelt
er; Hier amWasser, wandelt

The

12
of title of his singspiel Das Labyrinth, oder Der Kampf mit den Elementen
(premiere,
has numerous
textual similarities
June 1798), which, as the sequel to Die Zauberfl?te,
with Die Zauberfl?te.
have suggested that Schikaneder drew upon Ignaz von Born's essay when
scene
with the Speaker (act 2, scene 6) and Sarastro's aria in act 2, scene 12
the
creating
while
(n?. 16 inMozart's autograph score), texts that extol friendship and brotherhood
The
final
and
chorus
strength. Here
warning against superstition.
praises wisdom, beauty
Commentators

are so vague that they need not be connected


to Born's text at all. The
libretto seems more
like an invocation of popular cant and the platitudes
in Masonic and other
liberal ideologies rather than a specific citation with an

the similarities
wording
praised

in the

Ignaz von Born


allegorical meaning. The other textual similarity is even more tenuous.
briefly cites Plutarch's story of Prince Horus being saved from a serpent that his evil
set against him. While
this may have inspired Schikaneder to write the
uncle's mistress
opening scene where Tamino is saved by the three ladies from a deadly serpent, it is not
a parallel situation: there is no indication that the evil Queen
sent the
inDie Zauberfl?te
serpent to kill Tamino. Thus ifBorn's passage was the inspiration for the introduzione of
it is not a part of any allegory found in '?ber die Mysterien der ?gyptier'.
the opera,
in these passages does not prove that
Schikaneder's use of Egyptian lore and platitudes
in the libretto do not prove a Ma
he intended a broad allegory, and the few references
sonic subtext. The

frontispiece

of the opera's

a Freemason,

libretto,

inwhich

the printer

IgnazAlberti,
to mind. But

presents Egyptian iconography, certainly brings Freemasonry


this imagery isalso consistent with the Egyptian setting of the fairytale. Many of the same
singspiel
Egyptian symbols are found in engravings of opera scenes from Schikaneder's
an
evokes
that
and
Babilons Piramiden (Wiednertheater,
opera
Babylonian
1797),12
Assyrian

io. Der H?llenberg.


I Eine I heroisch-komische
von Herrn J. W?lfl,
I Kapellmeister.
Musik
inVienna,
is found
n?.i^8. This songbook
text

is found

11. A Viennese

on p. 26.
libretto survives

I Eine
in Mannheim,
shelfmark N 5: Babilons I Piramiden.
Rei?-Museum,
I
I Verfa?t I von I Emanuel Schikaneder. Wien.
/ gedruckt
Oper I inzwey Aufz?gen.
three has a magical
association
1800. Once
(see below).
again the number
score: Babilons Piramiden I Eine grosse herroisch=komische
are found inthe piano-vocal

grosse I heroisch-komische
mit Jahnischen
Schriften,
12. Twelve

engravings

I von I Emanuel
Schikaneder. Die
Oper I in zween Aufz?gen
I Altona,/ gedruckt mit Bollmerschen
Schriften I Gr?ne-Stra?e.
der Musikfreunde.,
Gesellschaft
Signatur 6847 Tb. The quoted

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

199

remarkably similar to that inDie Zauberfl?te, but without


content. Alberti's engravings prove neither an intentional
Masonic
any apparent allegorical
in creating an allegory.
Masonic subtext in the opera nor Mozart's participation
occult

practices with

locutions

come
Two of the most widely read recent discussions of Masonry and Die Zauberfl?te
to quite different conclusions
about the allegory of this putative
'Masonic opera.' For
H. C Robbins Landon Die Zauberfl?te
is 'the first Masonic opera;'13 the intent of Mozart
and Schikaneder was 'to protect Masonry' from hostile attacks and attempts to abolish it
to save the Craft by an al
(pp. 134-35). 'Mozart and Schikaneder risked a long shot
legorical operar The Magic Flute (p. 60). Landon boldly asserts that the opera's creators
intended to
presenting a Masonic ritual on the stage: "But Mozart and Schikaneder
that
show more than just the Masonry of the St John ceremony; they also represented
on
two suppositions
of the higher degree" (p. 127). His evidence for this statement rests

were

'fire,water, air and earth' the


(p. 129). The first is the following sentence: "At the words
holy tetragrammaton
JHVH was presumably shown." One cannot base an interpretation
on an image one merely
'presumes' was shown. The other statement of proof is: "The
Thirtieth Scene in act 2 [...] is symbolic of the 30o in the Scottish Rite, the 'Degree of
of the number thirty sounds a bit more convincing, as
Revenge' [...]." This coincidence
ismentioned
at the end of the
"the sacrifice of our vengeance"
(unserer Rache Opfer)
are furtively attempting
scene. But here the Queen,
her three ladies, and Monostatos
to usurp the leadership of the temple by force. Revenge
is just one of many themes and
scene.
scene
with
the
aria
in
the
famous
for the Queen
of the Night
Act
2,
8,
images
("Der H?lle Rache"), stresses revenge much more than scene 30.
of
less on original scholarship than on a re-interpretation
literature, especially Chailley. A critical examination of Landon's account reveals
secondary
a number of fallacies: the half truth, circular reasoning, illicit process, faulty generalization,
Landon's assertions

are based

like "one symbol after another derived from the Craft. The
faulty analogy, etc. Statements
three
the entire work [...]" (p. 127) create the impression of
dominates
symbolic figure
a logical argument, but these claims are just more unsubstantiated
assertions. The images
on the title page are again offered as proof of a consistent system of Masonic symbols, as
is the numerical interpretation of the three-fold accord.14 But even at face value Landon's
if the
general thesis is unsound, for how could an opera "save" or "protect" Masonry
creators

put the message

into a code that only

initiates could understand?

Oper I von Emanuel Schikaneder I inMusik gesezt I der Erste Aufzug I von Hr. lohannGallus l der
I von Hr. Peter Winter...,

Vienna

in the Musiksammlung
of the
1797. A copy is preserved
shelfmark MS 50.011.
[henceforth
A-Wn],
Last Year, London: Thames
and Hudson,
1J?1.Mozart's
13. H.C. RoBBiNS Landon,
1988, p. 131 and p. 135.
are presented
in the chapter, "The Magic Flute" on pp. 122-47, and specifically
the
Landon's arguments
on Freemasonry,
"The message"
is the heart of the argument.
For his information
section
(pp. 127-37)
on the British
on information
Landon relies almost exclusively
Isles from Robert
concerning
Masonry
Zweyte
Aufzug
?sterreischische

F. Gould,
14. Landon

Nationalbibliothek

inVienna

n.d. [1886].
The History of Freemasonry,
3 vols., Edinburgh,
chords' derive from
that the dotted
'three-times-three

asserts

the practice

of French

Lodges.

David

200

J.Buch

to a very different conclusion concerning


inthe opera: 'Against the background of Viennese
Freemasonry,
Die Zauberlf?tes
bloc but as a group full of contradic
initiates appear not as monolithic
is not one
tions, without
any claim to infallibility.'15The Masonic message of this opera

The account

by Volkmar
the function of Masonry

in Sarastro's

of confidence

comes

Braunbehrens

limited wisdom'

(p. 265).
are we to make of this variability in interpretation
ifnot to say that one can interpret
this kind of evidence to support as many different and contradictory
allegories as scholars
can devise? This variability reveals an essential aspect in the nature of the evidence?that

What

the presence of material that recalls aspects of Masonry cannot lead to any conclusion
about the intent of the composer or the librettist. It can only lead to speculation.
sheds light on the Masonic allegory theory. Emil Karl Bl?mml has
Historical perspective
shown

that the earliest

accounts

that surfaced

and had no connection


cal context

interpretations of the libretto were political.16 The two Masonic


in the first decade after the opera's premiere were anecdotal,
to Mozart, Schikaneder, or even Vienna. Both asserted a politi

for the Masonic

content.

The

in the twentieth

century, when
had accrued.

purely 'Masonic allegory' theory only gained


it emerged
from a number of varied inter

precedence
pretations that the opera
The first specific Masonic reading of the libretto seems to be unknown
account found in the Hamburgischer
ary literature. It is an anonymous
November,

in the second
Brieftr?ger

15

1794 (1795 issue):


von der Geschichte

das
der Zauberfl?te
sagen. Es ist bekannt:
im Auge
Frauenzimmern
ein Stachel
gewesen
jeher
Freymaurer-Wesen
neugierigen
zu erforschen. Wie
haben das Geheimni?
derselben
th?richt
ist, die bis jetzt alle M?he angewandt
Lande schienen
In einem nicht freydenkenden
ihre Begriffe davon sind zeigt die K?nigen der Nacht.
doch

M?ssen
von

auch

einmal

ein Wort

den

das

weil
sie
einer gewissen
Leute zu seyn, und sie bewirkte,
F?rstinn die Maurer
gef?hrliche
da? solche aufgehoben
wurde.
Der Verfasser
in die Weisheit
der Loge eindringen
konnte,
in eine
des Stuhls, suchte sich dadurch zu r?chen, da? er diese Geschichte
der Zauberfl?te,
Meister
so
die
welches
auch
F?rstinn
and
soll,
einkleidete,
seyn
geschehen
siegen
Mauerey,
bey jener
Oper
von H?ren
ich erz?hlte
lie?. Relata refero (oder
sagen.)17
nemlich
nicht

Here we

the political and the Masonic


interpretations
account
where
the Master of a Lodge (Ignaz von
imaginary

find the basic elements

in a far-fetched

and clearly

Mozart
Braunbehrens,
15- Volkmar
New York: Grove Wiedenfeld,
16. Emil Karl Bl?mml
1

reviewed

111-46.
25: "Now we

of both

in Vienna,

trans.,

1986: 264.
a number of these

Bell

Timothy

in "Ausdeutungen

(orig. German
der

'Zauberfl?te'",

edn.,

Munich,

1980);

in:Mozart-Jahrbuch,

(1923),

17. Page

must

also

has been

Freemasonry
always
its secrets.
effort to find out
You

see

Because

a certain
she

could

that
about the story of The Magic
Flute. It iswell known
say a word
a thorn
who
in the side of curious women,
until now have spared no

The Queen
of a land where

princess
not penetrate

of the Night

the wise

of it are.
just how foolish their notions
as a danger.
saw the Masons
not allowed
it. The author
she tried to abolish
Lodge,

shows
was

freethinking
of the
teaching

this through
the story within
of The Magic
of the Lodge, sought to avenge
Flute, the Master
couching
so that Masonry
an opera,
with
land of] that princess.
also happened
would
[in the
triumph, which
to Carlo
curious women
Relata refero (or so Ihave heard)." The remark concerning
may be a reference
Goldoni's

play Le donne

curi?se

(1753), which

also targets

Freemasons.

Die Zauberfl?te,

and Other

Masonic Opera,

some

a libretto about

Born?) writes

FairyTales

princess

201

Maria Theresia

(presumably

of Austria),

of the Night.
by the Queen
represented
com
seems to have been restricted to northern German
The Masonic
interpretation
an
aus
von
der Zauber
mentators.
Batzko wrote
The east Prussian Ludwig
Allegorie
in 1794,18 interpreting the opera as a political allegory of light versus darkness and
he wrote
that some
naming Freemasonry
superstition versus enlightenment. Without
of certain orders; even the uninitiated will
'scenes obliquely allude to the ceremonies

fl?te'

of the ancient culture'.19 Like


know this, provided they are acquainted with mysteries
is a personal, subjective view from an individual
the Hamburg account, this commentary
to the opera or its creators. But unlike the Hamburg
with no connection
interpretation,
nothing that is clearly false, and itoffers insight both into how individuals un
theatrical allegory at the time and a more plausible view of possible symbolic

it contains
derstood
content

(see below).
assertion
first Viennese

of a

came from
'glorification of the Masonic element'
the
of
itwas
in 1857, 66 years after
the opera;
premiere
Leopold
of Mozart, does not
actually printed in 1919.20 Sonnleithner, who knew contemporaries
assert that his evidence comes from any source contemporary
with the opera. Rather

The

von Sonnleithner

it is his own

introduced the Masonic element at


theory that suggests that Schikaneder
the end of act 1 inorder to differentiate his opera from Joachim Perinet's contemporary
Singspiel, Kaspar der Fagottist oder Die Zauberzither.
century,
including Rosicrucian
or
a
even
numerical
worked-out
fully
mysticism,21 alchemy,22 numerology,23 Gnosticism,24
code of hidden messages
based on Cabalistic gematria.25 Explaining the hidden meanings
New

in the twentieth

have proliferated

interpretations

inMozart studies. Each of these modern


of Die Zauberfl?te became a dominant theme
cites peripheral conditions and conjunctions of similar events to posit a central
writers
cause for the writing of the opera. Association
is causation
in all of these interpretations,
whose
authors assert a 'true' interpretation of the opera's supposed secrets that often

i8. Journal des


19.

20.

Kenntnis

von

389.
von SoNNLEiTHNER, "?ber

Leopold

294-313,

den Mysterien

die Zauberfl?te",

and the Enlightenment:


Till, Mozart
a Cabalistic,
asserts with certitude

complete
Zauberfl?te
23.

9, Weimar,
19 April 1794, 366-71.
auf gewisse Orden
sind, selbst ohne
Anspielungen
Erkl?rung wissen,
sie auch zum Teil selbst deuten
dafern sie einige
k?nnen,
sind, werden
see Johann Jakob
der Alten
haben". Also
Engel's letter (1792) inDeutsch,

Dokumente,

1920).
21. Nicolas

22.

Luxus und der Moden,

Szenen
Ibid., 371: "da? manche
die nicht Mitglieder
des Ordens

with

'coded

carries within

secrets':

The

24. Romolo

Perrotta,

1/1-2

(Salzburg,

1919

inMozart's
Truth, Virtue and Beauty
London,
1992,
Operas,
nature
in Die Zauberfl?te,
and Rosicrucian
numerological,

elaborate

symbolism

of the

is a sure

opera

programme'
(page 298).
in:Mozart Jahrbuch
und Zauberfl?te",

"Gnostiche

Irmen, Mozart.

Mitteilungen

indication

that Die

it a Rosicrucian

"Alchemie
Siegfried Morenz,
I. Grattan-Guinness,
"Counting
in:Annals of Science,
Zauberfl?te",

25. Hans-Josef

in:Mozarteums

the

Notes:

Numerology

49 (1992), 201-32.
'Ethos" im Textbuch

Mirglied

geheimer

der

Gesellschaften

1971/J2
in the Works

'Zauberfl?te',
([Mechernich],

(1973), 173-81.
of Mozart,
especially

in:Mozart
1988).

Jahrbuch

Die

i??y, 45-67.

David

202

J.Buch

the claims of other

contradicts

interpretations, and the symbols keep changing according


most diplomatic manner of dealing with these differ
While
the
interpretation.
one can hardly concede equal
ent readings is to say that they 'coexist simultaneously',
so
were
to
If
this
then Mozart and his librettist
contradictory
interpretations.
weight
to the

were

intent upon offering their audience the most


superhuman mystic-scientists,
in a mere matter of a few months.
and complex operatic riddle ever created

Allegory

in the

late Eighteenth

arcane

Century

reason to
states that unless there is some compelling
rule of the commonplace
an event or person adheres to the normative conditions of the time
believe otherwise,
one should find examples of con
in question. Applying the rule of the commonplace,
inVienna. Yet none of Schikaneder's
temporary
Singspiels with similar cryptic programs

The

other

hidden subtexts. Nor do fairy-tale Singspiels by other


operas have complicated
librettists. Eighteenth-century
Singspiels were not vehicles for concealing recondite phi
fairy-tale Singspiels, Die Zauberfl?te was
losophies and secret rituals. Like other Viennese
a product of the popular theatre. Mozart and Schikaneder never mentioned
Freemasonry

in regard to Die Zauberfl?te


in any surviving source; Mozart called it a deutsche Oper'
and Schikaneder called it a 'gro?e Oper'.26
and court operas sometimes
Of course eighteenth-century
contained
comedies
sym
bolic content and allegory. But the nature of these subtexts and their evidentiary basis
from the Masonic reading of Die Zauberfl?te, whose
differ fundamentally
elaborate and
seems highly unusual for late eighteenth
coded representation
century Vienna. The
creators of theatrical allegories at the time intended the symbolic content to be easily
recognized and not remain hidden. The allegory would be a coherent narrative, not a
abstract symbols. Additionally,
the symbolic material either
complex of discontinuous
or
a
a
to royal patronage
evoked
theme with broadly popular
had
direct connection
interest to the audience. For example, Carlo Gozzi's fiabe teatrali included polemics on
of the literary reform of Carlo Goldoni, criticizing the Venetian Enlight
the pretensions
enment

and

and related

its theatrical

is also found in French fair plays


paper war. Symbolic content
in this case was satire, ridiculing a
comedies; but the purpose

Italian-style
familiar target that the audience would
easily
a
is
Gozzi's
substratum
contemporary
ideological

recognize.

Moreover,

the evidence

for

witness, the author's brother Gasparo,


content
of
Gozzi's
first play, Uamore delle tre melar
the
symbolic
publicly explained
of an elaborate network
anceP No such evidence exists for the arcane representation
of Masonic rituals and symbols inDie Zauberfl?te.

who

26.

In his preface to Der Spiegel von Arkadien, Vienna:


asserted
that his sole
1795, Schikaneder
Joseph Och?,
des
"Ich schreibe
f?rs Vergn?gen
rather than for intellectuals:
aim was to write
for a general audience
aus.
Ich
und
f?r
keinen
bin
Direkteur
arbeite
mich
f?r
Gelehrten
bin
Publikums,
Schauspieler
gebe
a direc
for the pleasure of the public, Ido not claim to be a scholar. Iam an actormeine
Ka?e". [Iwrite
inMaske
is reproduced
tor
I
und Kothurn, 1 (1955), 359"60.
The preface
and work
for my box-office.]

Die Zauberfl?te,

and Other

Masonic Opera,

FairyTales

203

is found in court opera, which often employed mythological


kind of symbolism
allegory for the edification of its royal patrons. Pietro Metastasio's Alcide al Bivio (Vienna
of Joseph IIto Isabella of Bourbon-Parma
1760), a festa teatrale for the wedding
(with

Another

music
Once

by Johann Adolf Hasse), contains such an allegory, directed


intended the allegory to be recognized,
again, Metastasio

long and demonstrable

tradition

that

is entirely

different

at the young Joseph.


and this genre has a

than the sui generis Masonic

interpretation posited for Die Zauberfl?te.


Not only is there no compelling evidence for a hidden Masonic subtext, but one con
temporary witness
(written with
speaks against it. In the biography by Georg Nissen
we find a clear statement
that Mozart did not intend a
Mozart's widow Constanze),
hidden

allegory:
war

Eine Parodie,
des Dichters
eine Apotheose
des Freymaurer
denn die Absicht
gewesen?
mit der Thorheit?der
der Kampf der Weisheit
Tugend mit dem Laster?dem
Symbolisch:
Ihr die Zauberfl?te
wollt
Licht mit der Finsterniss
verstehen
zur?ck, wenn
[...] Ruft die Kindheit
die Kinderseele
entz?ckend
berauscht. Wahrlich,
der Gewinn
ist nicht
[...] nur als Unerkl?rbares
zu ergr?nden,
nur
die Fabel in dem Kinde entstanden:
wie und warum
das M?hrchen
erheblich,

Was

Ordens.

und der Glaube


dem Gen?sse
Mozart

daran
des

kann das M?hrchen

hat es zuversichtlich

nicht

anders

des Kindes

gesucht
[...] allem Verm?gen
war, wie dem holden Kinde

im Glauben

und so kindlich

feyerlichen

belohnen.

So glaubt

zwey

kurze

Stunden,

oder

entsagt

holden Wahnes.

s?ssen Weisen

Er hat nicht [...] in th?riger Weisheit


die Tiefe
er
nur
es ihm
H?rt
ernst
die
wie
Ouvert?re,
[...]
gebeut
an die Zauberwelt
in
eines G?ttlichen
die erste Ahnung
erwacht!28
gemeint.

too often exclude the


interpretations of Die Zauberfl?te
the theatrical tradition, and the musical conventions
that contributed

Masonic

literary background,
to the character of

like it.These operas do not fit into any mixture of the heroic,
this singspiel and others
ismissing in these generic formula
comic, and pastoral categories.29 Something essential

27.

La Gazzetta
ed.

and

v?neta

transi,

"Autobiographer

see Carlo Gozzi,


Five Tales for the Theatre,
1761. For further details,
and London,
and Ted Emery, Chicago
1989, 185, and Ted Emery,
and 'Utility' of Gozzi's Useless
in: Italian Quarterly,
Structure
Memoirs",

103, 27 January
Bermel

by Albert
as Critic:

The

154 (1983). 43-9


nach Originalbriefen,
28. Georg
Nikolaus
alles
Nissen,
Anhang zu W. A. Mozarts
Biographie,
Sammlungen
?ber ihn Geschriebenen,
mit vielen neuen Beylagen,
und einem Facsimile
Steindr?cken, Musikbl?ttern
(1828 ;
an apotheosis
R. Hildesheim,
the intention of the poet? A parody,
of the
1964), 112-14: "What was
and folly, virtue and vice, light with darkness.
Ifyou want
Masonic
order, a symbolic
struggle of wisdom
to understand

Die Zauberfl?te

recall childhood
enthrall
[...] only the inexplicable
things will delightfully
in fathoming
child. Truly there
is little advantage
in child
how and why the fable arises
in itwill justify the story. So be a believer
hood. Only a fairy tale itself and the belief
for two hours or
renounce
the pleasure
of charming
illusion.

the

soul of the

intended nothing else. He did not [...] probe


into the depths
of foolish wisdom
certainly
[...]
of the child [...] Listen to the overture?how
commands
all the faculties
serious
itwas to him.
in the magical world,
Like a good child who believes
these solemn and so childlike and sweet melodies
awaken the first inkling of the divine."

Mozart
He

discussions
in:NGO,
29. A few modern
suggest some kind of mixed genre, e.g., James LjACKSON,"Palella, Antonio",
as sub-species
of opera buffa that he calls "'magic' opera".
II,831, who generically describes Die Zauberfl?te
Mixed genres were discussed
in eighteenth-century
and fairy-tale Singspiels like Schikaneder's
commentary,
Der Stein der Weisen
bore the generic appellation
'heroisch-komische
Oper'.
(1790) sometimes

David

204

in regard to music

tions, both
supernatural

and libretto. The explanation

resides

in fairytales

J.Buch

and the

of the period.

operas

Fairy Tales
In allegorical interpretations of Die Zauberfl?te
is posited merely
the fairy-tale element
as a superficial pretext for the symbolic representation
secret society and
of a Viennese
its rituals. InMozart The Dramatist, Brigid Brophy refers to the 'neutral or nonsensical
to outsiders?to
in code'.30 This
cloak an utterance
(the 'fairy-tale') fa?ade presented
dismissive attitude toward fairy tales is apparent from the seventeenth
century through
and the
the first half of the twentieth century.31 French classicists derided the marvelous
low genres. Critiques during
supernatural as vulgar and childish, associating them with
with
the Enlightenment
savaged genres
supernatural content, including serious and comic
opera. The values of these 'progressive' critics in the eighteenth century have often been
scholars.
adopted uncritically by modern
that the Enlightenment banished superstition and the supernatural from the
results from accepting the
stage in favor of more natural and rational representations32
In
and Rousseau.33
thinkers
like
of
Diderot,
Grimm,
Enlightenment
ideological polemics

The

notion

fact the supernatural enjoyed continued popularity on the stage as the challenge to reli
like Jean-Fran?ois Marmontel,
Louis de
gion and aristocratic authority increased. Writers
Cahusac, and Carlo Gozzi pressed popular fantastic narratives into service, sometimes
for their own
political
number

in the religious and


ideological aims. As the fantastic was being challenged
came
to
in
it fulfills a
life of the period, it
be reconstructed
the theatre where

of diverse

functions. The

tain 'exotic' cultures, derived

30.

Brigid

Brophy, Mozart

from

The Dramatist:

new

'marvelous' of the eighteenth century treats cer


'oriental' tales, as well as the indistinct agrarian past of

The Value

of his Operas

to Him,

his Age

and

to Us

(New

York,

143.
1968/1988),
in opera begins with the polemics
and marvelous
elements
of disdain for fantastic
31. The
long tradition
inClaude
of Boileau and other classicists. A similar disdain
is apparent
Palisca,
Baroque Music,
3rd ed.,
in Roman and Venetian
New York, 1991,141-2.
Here the author judges the marvelous
opera as 'bauble',
or analysis. Likewise, Graham
in: NGO and his 'Rameau',
it from discussion
Sadler's articles
dismissing
to a lower
New York, 1986, 262, delegates
Rameau's Zoroastre
The New Grove French Baroque Masters,
use of the supernatural".
status simply because
it "makes excessive
32.

notes the "virtual disappearance


III, 1008, who
in the late eighteenth
of opera
century.
Similarly,
in: International
and Metastasio;
Favart and Diderot",
Goldoni,
i?yj, Kassel, 1981, 237, states that "Op?ra
Berkeley,
Society: Report of the Twelfth Congress
Musicological
but
de la Foire a certain amount of magic or mythological
inherited from the Th??tre
content,
comique
See M. Elizabeth

Bartlet,

"Pi?ce

? machines",

and gods as prime movers


of magic
Daniel
"Les Lumi?res: Voltaire
Heartz,

in the

in: NGO,

action"

as the new type of libretto took shape,


in favor of common
'merveilleux'
receded
settings
everyday
and plots".
as fact by writers
like
in historical writing
and became
33. Rousseau's
accepted
integrated
polemics were
in:A General History ofMusic, London
discussion
of opera
Charles
Burney, whose
1789, ed. Frank Mercer,
from Jean
of the Music of Drama",
is at times a literal translation
New York, 1935, 555, "The Progress
the

Jacques

Rousseau's

langue et

le th??tre,

Dictionnaire
ed. Bernard

[Paris, 1768], mod.


Marcel
Gagnebin,

ed.

in:

Raymond

uvres compl?tes
v, ?crits
et alii, Paris, 1995.

sur

lamusique,

la

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

205

indigenous European fairy tales. Here magic, superstition, and spirit rule once again, after
being banished from the real world, that is to say, a reality verified only through natural
science. This isone of the important roles of Freemasonry, which tells us much about the
context of Die Zauberfl?te and the libretto's apparent contradiction
between
fairy-tale
fantasy and enlightened
intended the occasional

reason. Rather
Masonic

than a recondite

reference

subtext,

Schikaneder

probably

in the text to evoke

popular sentiment (see


isone of the characteristic forces

reason and fantasy


conclusions). This tension between
in the marvelous of the eighteenth century, and it informs most theoretical discussions of
the topic. It lurks in the theatrical works themselves, where critiques of reason, of magi
cal thinking, and proposed
reconciliation
some
in
form.
frequently present

of these

two

seemingly

opposing

spheres

are

productions
require the suspension of disbelief to some degree. Audiences
in
illusion
and sacrifice the reality principle because fantasy allows
willingly participate
for a safe distance from which to broach topics that would be disturbing
if presented
All theatrical

in a more

Inthe repressive society of the eighteenth


explicit manner.
controversial the topic, the greater need to distance
it from everyday
on
it
the
stage.
ing

century the more


lifewhen present

narratives, and
Fairy tales too often have been classified as children's literature, women's
folk material, products not of artistic genius but expressions
of less sophisticated or even
It is also true of oriental
literature, which
'primitive' writers. This has been unfortunate.
has been viewed

as exotic

to that of the European

and primitive, with


fairy tale.

consequences

for reception

comparable

Fairy-tale Opera
and other European
Fairy-tale operas and plays have a long history, both inViennese
theatres. Exotic oriental fairytales, probably taken from the collections of Straparola and
used in seventeenth-century
commedia dell'arte plays. Beginning c. 1697,
Basile, were
the rage for contes de f?es by Charles
French translations of contes orientaux

Perrault and his contemporaries,


along with the
inthe early eighteenth century, inspired numerous
musical comedies at the 'petit' theatres of Paris, and even large-scale operas and bal
lets at L'Acad?mie royale. German operas and comedies also used this material, usually
in adaptations
from French sources. English and Italianwriters did much the same, for
example, Carlo Gozzi's fiabe teatrali.
Vienna's comic theatre repertory had a remarkable penchant for the marvelous,
staging
a term that refers to the stage machinery that facilitated
supernatural Maschinenkom?dien,
illusions in these productions.
to the numerous supernatural
the spectacular
References
are
comedies
inViennese
documented
periodicals. By the late 1770s, the term M?rchen
was

used to describe

fairy-tale Singspiels. Johann Friedrich Schmidt adapted Carlo Goz


as
zi's Turandot
Hermannide, oder die R?tsel, referring to the genre as 'ein altfr?nkisches
on 25 Oct.
in five acts; itwas performed
at Vienna's Burgtheater
M?rchen'
1777. In

2o6

David

J.Buch

im Thurme, Christoph
the preface to his Das w?tende Heer, oder Das M?gden
Friedrich
Bretzner describes the singspiel as an example of M?rchen. Graf von Spaur designated his
in four acts. Wenzel
M?ller
Egyptian fairy-tale singspiel, Der Schiffbruch, as 'einM?hrchen'
and 'Zauber Kom?die'
refers to fairy-tale operas as 'Maschinenkom?die,
Feenm?rchen,'
inWien'
in der Leopoldstadt
'Kaiser = K?niglich privil: Theater
[1781
in his diary from 1781-1789.35 The term is also used in various periodicals,

in his chronicle

1830],34 and
for example, Das Wienerbl?ttchen,

Die Wiener Zeitung, and the Kritisches Theater-Journal


called his Philibert und Kaspar im Reiche der Phantasey
oder Weiber sind getreuer als M?nner, a 'Feenm?rchen mit Maschinen,
Flugwerken, und
20
in
der
Charakteren'
Friedrich
Jan. 1785)(Theater
lustigen
Leopoldstadt,
Spengler's
von Wien.

Karl Friedrich Hensler

as a 'Feenm?rchen mit
oder Etwas f?r den Fasching was designated
und Ges?nge[n]
und Ch?ren'
der
auf
Wieden,
(Theater
January 1792).36
scores for fairy-tale operas of the period have survived. These operas were

Der Zauberdrachen
Maschinen
Complete

both in the Burgtheater and on other Viennese


stages.37
performed
Emanuel Schikaneder assumed the management
of the Theater auf der Wieden
and soon produced his first fairy-tale opera based on Christoph Martin Wieland's

in 1789

epic tale,
PaulWranitzky's
Oberon, K?nig der Elfen (7 Nov. 1789). New M?rchenopern were mounted
at least three times a season. On 22 April 1790 Schikaneder staged his own musical 'Zau
berkom?die', Die sch?ne Isl?nderin oder Der Mufti von Samarkanda, followed in September

opera, Der Stein der Weisen. Schikaneder


by his heroic-comic
Zauberspiel', Der wohlt?tige Derwisch oder Die Schellenkappe
von Steiermark oder Sarm?ts

Stein der Weisen.

Ludwig Herzog
alten Volksm?rchen
bearbeitet',

then mounted

his 'Lust- und

less than half a year after Der


'nach
Feuerb?r, a Schauspiel

credited to Eleonore Schikaneder, was staged the


Itwas the fourth in
One
month
later
Die
Zauberfl?te had its premiere.
following August.
Schikaneder's series of fairy-tale productions based on texts associated with Wieland.
and Der
copies of the librettos of Der Stein der Weisen
Analysis of the manuscript
einem

wohlt?tige Derwisch in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Hamburg reveals a consistent approach on


Schikaneder's part. He takes the general outline of one story from the fairy-tale collec
from other stories in the collection. For Der
tion Dschinnistan,38 and appends elements

34- Wiener

Stadt-

und Landesbibliothek,

shelfmark
Ja 40426.
35. A-Wst,
for the sixth performance
36. A poster

[henceforth

A-Wst],
on

of the opera

3 Feb.

shelfmark

Ja 51926.

1792 survives

in Vienna's

Gesellschaft

der

Musikfreunde.
et Azor (both the French original and several
Gr?try's Z?mire
a Singspiel
in three acts
Der Ring der Liebe [oder] Zemirens
und Azors Ehestand,
adaptations),
w?tende
Bretzner's
Das
Paul
Oct.
music
Umlauf,
K?rntnertortheater,
Weidmann,
3
Ignaz
1786,
by
by
1 June 1787,
im Thurme, music by Joseph Martin Ruprecht,
K?rntnertortheater,
Heer, oder Das M?dgen
a Singspiel
in three acts by Joachim Perinet, music byWenzel
Kaspar der Fagottist, oder Die Zauberzither,
in der Leopoldstadt,
8 June 1791, Das Irrlicht, oder Endlich fand er sie, a heroisch-komisches
M?ller, Theater
music
in two acts (based on Der Irrwisch by Christoph
Friedrich Breztner),
by Ignaz Umlauf,
Singspiel

37. These
German

include Andr?-Ernest-Modeste

17 Jan. 1782, and Was


Burgtheater,
music
acts, by Ludwig Zehnmark,

erh?lt

die M?nner

by Ruprecht,

treu? oder Das

Burgtheater,

30 Mar.

R?thsel,
1780.

a romantische

Oper

in two

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

207

first story, 'Nadir und Nadine'. For Der


he relied mostly on Wieland's
Derwisch he used Friedrich Hildebrand von Einsiedel's 'Die Prinzessin mit der

Stein der Weisen

wohlt?tige
langen Nase'. He would

proceed similarly with Die Zauberfl?te, using Jakob August Liebe


as a model. All of these librettos exploit marvelous
'Lulu oder die Zauberfl?te'

skind's

such as mysterious
voices, oracles, spirits, magical spells and scenes with magical
and initiations and
implements. Sages with supernatural powers make pronouncements,

devices

trials are central

to the plots.

in Die Zauberfl?te
ismentioned

Masonic

fire and water

Some

elements

that modern

designate as
such meaning. A trial of

writers

often

appear in these fairy tales without


one of Wieland's
in 'Der Stein der Weisen',

fairy tales

in

several Egyptian references


(there is little or no relationship
same
the
here is an exclusively male
Also
of
opera
name).
depicted
instruct a headstrong
ritual. In 'Der Druid' an enlightened
group of older males
youth.
that contains

Dschinnistan

to Schikaneder's

in this story. In 'Der Palast der Wahrheit'


the hero is
Egyptian symbols also appear
In 'Der Zweikampf
the hero is required to make
warned
against 'women's falsehood'.
a vow to renounce associating with women.
tone that
This is the same misogynistic
we

in Die Zauberfl?te;
it ismore consistent
'Trials of silence', a common motif
Freemasonry.
find

with

the exotic

orientalism

than with

in fairy tales, were a familiar plot device


on the stage, as demonstrated
In archetypal commedia
operas.
by the many Orpheus
deH'arte plots like //pozzo39 a magician requires the young hero to remain silent before
his beloved as an initiatory trial of his virtue. Schikaneder used the admonition
again in
his 1797 singspiel, Babilons Piramiden (act 1, scene 3). As was the case inMozart's opera,
a wise elder cautions
'silence' to a hopeful (but in this case, corrupt) aspirant to the
throne who comes to an ancient Babilonian temple. The point here is evoking ancient
occult

practice

Die Zauberfl?te
include magic

and not specifically Freemasonry.


contains some of the motifs most

frequently found in fairy tales. These


and objects that have the power to change the hero's life,
severe tests and trials, secret orders of initiates, temples, a pair of

instruments

sagacious magicians,
contrasting comrades

on a mutual

princess.40 The matching male

quest, and young couples,


and female forms of characters'

generally a prince and a


names are typical (Nadir

oder Auserlesene
Feen- und Geisterm?rchen,
(Winterthur
38. Dschinnistan,
1786, 1787, 1789), ed. Gerhard
see my 'Fairy-Tale Literature
Seidel (Berlin, 1968). For details
and Die Zauberfl?te\
Acta Musicologica,

64 (1992). 30-49
39.

//pozzo
Ms. 45 G. 5 and 6, 'Raccolta di scenari piu scelti d'istrioni
is found inRome, Biblioteca Corsiniana,
F. IV, 12-13,now
divisi in due volumi', 1,25, and inRome, Biblioteca Casanatense,
codices
1211,1212. 'Delia
scena de Soggetti
in two parts (1618 and 1622), n?. 6.
comici et tragici di B(asilio)
L(ocatelli)
R(omano)'
in his 'tragicomic'
tale // corvo (1761). Other
Carlo Gozzi
also used this motive
include Louis
examples
de Cahusac's
Hamilton's
and
1743 fairy-tale
(based on Antoine
comedy Z?n?ide
fairy tale, 'Z?neyde'),
0 sia il vero amore (Dresden,
the dramma giocoso by Caterino
Wieland's
Mazzol?,
R?benzahl,
1789). In
fairytale

'Die klugen
silent'.

Knaben',

published

inDschinnistan,

drei Knaben

command

the hero

to be

'steadfast,

and

40.

patient
For details,

see Stith Thompson,


Motif Index of Folk Literature, Bloomington,
and Bibliography. Antti Aame's Verzeichnis
Types of Folktale: A Classification
and Enlarged by Stith Thompson,
Helsinki,
1961.

IN, 1955,6 vols.,


der M?rchentypen.

and

Idem, The

Translated

208

David

and Nadine,

Mandolino

J.Buch

and Mandolina,

Papageno and Papagena, Tamino and Pamina).


and then liberated. Humor isa common element, as are

Plots often have heroes

captured
admonishing tales of drunkenness,
lying, and exaggeration
(Papageno's vices). Cowardice
are punished by the loss of speech (Papageno's punishment).
and talkativeness
There
are similar moralizing Reden in all of Schikaneder's
in the
fairy-tale Singspiels, delivered
cant of the current

not be surprised
if these speeches were pilfered
from a variety of sources, including Masonic
literature.
are also common elements
and
in fairy
Gnosticism
Mystics, dervishes, alchemy, temples,
tales and fairy-tale operas of this period; they need not imply an allegory or a Masonic
influence. Chailley asserts that armored men ('geharnischte M?nner') are unusual char
day. One

should

and that they allude to the clanking of armor in the Masonic


initiation ritual. But
are
in
M?nner'
found
earlier
Schikaneder's
works
like Ludwig Herzog von
'geharnischte

acters,

oder Sarm?ts

and Der Stein der Weisen. Chailley also includes the


in
comic characters and sequences
his symbolic scheme. But this material
is standard
on the stage. There
Schikaneder comedy, drawn from years of experience
is little change
in this regard: Schikaneder's own rustic character
from one singspiel to the other
is a
Steiermark

constant.

His wife

A number of musical
parent

Feuerb?r

is either a dominatrix

or a young beauty.
of Die Zauberfl?te, often characterized

aspects
in Schikaneder's earlier non-Masonic

Singspiels. These

as Masonic,

include

are ap
'enchanted' wind

ensembles
of spirits, unearthly choruses, the use of the 'magic' solo
and vividly pictorial instrumental writing,
'stage-machine' music, and the
scenes.
march for magic pantomime
Chailley claims that Papageno's bells are an elemental
in
the
the
of
earth
Masonic
symbol
allegory. Yet Mandolino's
(Schikaneder's comic char
fool's cap, were
acter) magic bells inDer wohlt?tige Derwisch, attached to his enchanted

music,

trombones,

flute, extensive

clearly the inspiration for Papageno's bells inDie Zauberfl?te. (Other similar musical features
include the Queen of the Night's scene with recitative and a B flat coloratura aria, bearing
a strong resemblance to the appearance of Astromonte
in act 1 of Der Stein der Weisen.)
Chailley characterizes the arias for Sarastro in his Masonic scheme, claiming that the aria
with chorus, 'O Isis und Osiris' is analogous to a prayer in the 'ceremony that opens the
[Masonic] proceedings'. But Franz Xaver Gerl's character inDer wohlt?tige Derwisch, ante
dating Mozart's music for Sarastro by a half a year, was given similar sermonizing texts and
a hymn-like musical style. The vocal music of these operas was tailored to the
capabilities
not to an abstract allegorical scheme.
of the singers in the Wiednertheater,
Masonic

Elements

Ifthere was

in Die Zauberfl?te

no acknowledged
'Masonic Opera'
in the period, might there be enough
in the libretto and score to warrant the appella
elements of Freemasonry
tion today? Peter Branscombe has observed that 'it isdifficult to sift the sources in such a

demonstrable

41.

Branscombe,

p. 21.

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

209

way that no doubt is left as to the origins of specific details in the libretto of the opera.'41
inDie Zauberfl?te
The evidence suggests that most of the putative 'Masonic' elements
are ambiguous and not indisputably Masonic. Many of these elements are found in earlier
stage works based on fairy tales.
Nettl and Chailley assert that the numberthree
clearly designates Masonry. But the number
in a variety of older occult traditions (especially Egyptian) as
three has symbolic meaning
well as inChristian mysticism. All of these supernatural associations predate Freemasonry.
intheatrical fairytales dating back at least to Lesage
finds the symbolic numberthree
and d'Orneval's op?ra comique Roger de Sicile, surnomm? le roi sans chagrin, with music
by Jean-Claude Gilliers (Foire St. Laurent, 28 July 1731).42The plot concerns King Roger,
a
reputed to be the most joyful man inthe world. But Roger has terrible secret. Years ago

One

to bring back his future bride from Castille. The ambassador, a


fell in lovewith the princess on the trip back to Sicily.
cabalist and a magician-philosopher,
Throwing himself at her, she slapped him three times to rebuff his advance. He seized her
he sent his ambassador

and blew upon her three times, casting a spell on her. Every time her husband approaches
has persisted. Later Arlequin finds the
ill.For three years this enchantment
she becomes
statue of a giant with a saber that protects a magic elixir. A cartouche shows a rebus with
it is a sign explaining that the elixir in
three hands, three heads, and three suns. Beneath
the bottle will cure the princess of the magician's spell. Only the honorable husband of a
virtuous wife who has been married for three years will be able to take the bottle without
it.All others will be beheaded by the saber when they try
fear of the giant that protects
to seize the bottle. Arlequin helps to retrieve the elixir and explains that the three hands
represent the three slaps that the princess gave to the magician, the three heads are the
and the three suns are the three years duration of the enchantment.
decapitations,
in 'marvelous' opera, for example
A trio of supernatural beings is a common element
the Three Fates and the Three Furies. Some examples of the number three in fairy
in Ludwig Zehnmark's Was erh?lt
tale Singspiels include the three fairies that appear

42.

Published

inAlain-Ren?

Lesage

S. Germain

et S. Laurent.

10 vols.,

and d'Orneval,
Paris

Le Th??tre

1721-37. Reprint

de la Foire ou l'Op?ra-Comique...

in 2 volumes,

Geneva,
1968,1,
iy?i, 2 vols., Paris

aux foires de
[vii], vol. 9,1737.
1877, R. Geneva,

Les Spectacles
des foires...
1595 jusqu'?
depuis
but Iknow of no source that corroborates
this
Dorneval,
267, gives the name Jacques-Philippe
is based on the fairytale
'Hormoz et Bedreddin
Lolo', from Fran?ois P?tis de
name.] This comic opera
laCroix,
Les mille et un jours. Contes persans
traduits en fran?ois par M P?tis de la Croix, Paris, 1710-12,
more
as Les mille et un jours. Contes
inmodem
5 vols. Published
edition
recently
(Paris, 1848), and
[Emile Campardon,

1970,1,

et une chronologie
Persans, texte ?tabli, avec une introduction, des notices, une bibliographie, des jugements
par Paul Sebag, Paris [c. 1980].
in:A-Wn,
libretto (Vienna: Logenmeister,
BTh, and inVienna,
43. The
1780) is preserved
shelfmark629.128
shelfmark Mus., 647.433-AM
?sterreichisches
Bibliothek,
Theatermuseum,
TB, and in the Library of
score of Was
Schatz 9161. A manuscript
erh?lt die M?nner
shelfmark
treu,
[henceforth Wc],
Congress
ein Originalsingspiel
shelfmark Mus. Hs. 16519. Ruprecht
is inA-Wn,
sang the role of Passerdo,
originally
servant.
at Schikaneder's
the comic
He also composed
music
for Der blinde Ehemann,
produced
Wiednertheater
while

the NGO

in 1794. The
not.

does

card catalogue

of A-Wn

differentiates

Stefan

Ruprecht

from

Josef Martin

David

210

J.Buch

treu? a romantische Oper with music by Joseph Martin [or Stefan] Ruprecht,
30 March [or 1May] 1780.43 Three magic lightning bolts strike inChristian
Burgtheater,
August Vulpius's 'Egyptian' fairy-tale singspiel Der Schleyer (1786),44
die M?nner

innumerous operas with


Schikaneder used the occult association with the numberthree
out apparent Masonic content.
InDer Stein der Wiesen, Schikaneder's
fairy-tale singspiel
the
from one year before Die Zauberfl?te, three thunderbolts
accompany
magical appear
ance of the evil sorcerer Eutifronte (act 1, scenes 11-12). A magic drum must be struck
in the fairy-tale singspiel that
three times inorderto
conjure an army of Turkish warriors
preceded Die Zauberfl?te, Der wohlt?tige Derwisch (early 1791). In Schikaneder's
singspiel Babilons Piramiden (1797) the number again has a magical association: Three
knocks open a door to an ancient building used for Babilonian prophesy
(act 1, scene 1);

directly

leaves from a tree are required to consult an oracle (act 1, scene 2); a three-fold
roll of thunder confirms the oracle (act 1, scene 2); three wise men of Assyria
intercede
to save Babylon; and finally, three glances of a sword open the Babylonian book of laws

three

suggests an occult or magical


(act 2, scene 25). In all of these cases the numberthree
association and does not signify Freemasonry.
inDie Zauberfl?te
Another element presumed to be Masonic
isthe so-called
'trial' scenes
in act 2, said to be thinly veiled representations
of the Masonic
initiation ritual. But there
in these trial scenes that duplicate the Masonic ritual; walking through fire and
water was never a part of Masonic
initiation, much less an initiation for both a man and
is nothing

the scene may have been inspired by Masonic


initiation,
simultaneously. While
was
an
to
of
kind
is
intentional
"Masonic'
there
any
suggest
being
nothing here
allegory
to the audience.
communicated

a woman

Many

kinds of trials are common

in fairy tales and

in fairy-tale opera, where


virtue,
the testing of a youth or a young

fidelity, friendship, and true love are proved through


couple. Among the earliest staged fairy tales is the aptly titled Les Epreuves des f?es, an
op?ra comique by Louis Fuzelier (Foire de St. Laurent, 28 July 1732)45 The young initiate
Finfinette undergoes a series of trials for induction into the 'ordre de f?erie', beginning in
act 3 at Merlin's magic cavern. To save the lifeof her beloved Alamir, Finfinette transforms
him into a rock. She then tricks her nemesis, the evil fairy Papillone, and she changes
Amalir
music,

back to his natural form. She proceeds with her trials, which are accompanied
march similar in function to the one inDie Zauberfl?te.

by

a processional

libret
atWeimar's
Three
Kom?dienhaus.
Wolf
44- Music by Ernst Wilhelm
Herzogliches
(lost), produced
tos were
published:
and Leipzig: 1790, Wc,
Schatz
shelfmark
11084a.
1) C. A. Vulpius, Opern, Bayreuth
aus dem Singspiele: Der Schleyer, Hamburg:
shelfmark
Johann Matthias Michaelsen
1788, Wc,
2) Ges?nge
Schatz
11084.
is preserved
Erben 1789. A copy
and Leipzig: J.A. L?becks
3) Bayreuth
of Music Library.
in the Biblioth?que
de France [henceforth
nationale
45. Manuscript
F-Pn],

in the Yale University's


shelfmark

f.f. 9337,

fols.

School

115-50.

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

211

Young couples undergo initiatory trials inLes F?es, a comedy by Michel Procope Coltelli (called
and Jean-Antoine
Procope -Coutaux)
Romagnesi, with music by Jean-Joseph Mouret46
14
Other
include Les Ages ou la f?e du Loreau,
July 1736).47
examples
(Th??tre-Italien,
a comedy
de Caylus

de Tubi?res Grimoard de Pesteis de L?vis, comte


by Anne-Claude-Philippe
20
de
Morville,
(Ch?teau
Sept. 1739),48 and UOracle, a comedy by Germaine
Fran?ois Poullain de Saint-Foix, with music by Nicolas Ragot de Grandval, Th??tre
Favart
Fran?ais, 17 Apr. 1740.49 In La Belle Ars?ne, a com?die-f?erie
by Charles-Simon
with music by Pierre-Alexandre
6 Nov.
Monsigny
(Th??tre-Italien,
177350) the fairy
a painful trial for the vain Ars?ne. The title character of Fleur d'?pine, an
Fus?e de Voisenon,51
is subjected
'op?ra comique m?l?e d'ariettes' by Claude-Henri
to a trial that tests her steadfastness
in the face of danger. She also withstands
the im

Aline

contrives

suitor. This is done to prepare her for marriage to


proper advances of an undesirable
her intended prince, Tarare. Together they learn the lessons of delayed gratification and
sacrifice, necessary virtues for beneficent monarchs.
isan adaptation of a middle-Eastern
fairytale as a pastorale
h?ro?que (L'Acad?mie royale, 29 Feb. 1748).52 Za?s, a genie of the air, falls in love with the
shepherdess Z?lide. The couple endures a trial where Za?s abandons his supernatural
power and immortality by renouncing his magic ring inorder to be united with the virtu

Rameau's

and Cahusac's Za'is

ous Z?lide

(the king of the g?nies later restores his power and grants Z?lide
immortality
after the couple proves their virtue). Rameau's most ambitious trag?die en musique was
another collaboration with Cahusac, Zoroastre
(L'Acad?mie royale, 5 Dec. 1749, rev. 19
concerns
the magician Zoroastre,
who by 1749
Cahusac's
'Persian
Jan. 1756).53
story'54

46.

The music

consists

of a divertissement

Recueil des divertissements


47.

at the end, all of which


is found in: J.-J.Mouret,
Sixi?me
Italien, Paris: author, s.d., 263-74. F-Pn, Acq. 7927, film R. 7197.
in /Viercure de France, Aug. 1736, i882ff. A print survives,
Les F?es, com?die

du Nouveau

see the extrait


For details,
en trois actes, par Messieurs

and vaudeville

Th??tre

Romagnesi

& C;

[Procope

Coutoceux]

(s.l., s.n., s.d.),

F-Pn, Musique,

ThB

4023.
48.
49.

Manuscripts
17-44. Also
Paris:

Prault

are preserved
a manuscript
fils, 1740, copy

in the

Bibl. de

l'Arsenal

2748,

fols.

1-16, along with

another

copy

on

fols.

in F-Pn,

f.f. 24343.
in F-Pn, 8? Yth

13088,

and a later print,

Paris: Prault

fils, 1764,

F Pn, Mus.

Th.B486B.
in 1772. The music survives
in a printed partition, Paris: Houbaut
50. The livretwas first printed
1775, without
and printed parts, Paris: Houbaut,
s.d.
overture,
Hamilton, with music by Marie-Emmanuelle
51. Based on a satirical conte de f?es by Antoine
Bayon, Th??tre
was
The
livret
Paris: Duchesne,
Italien, 19 or 22 August
1777, with melodies
1776.
published,
appended
en deux actes, Paris:
at the end. Score edition,
Fleur d'?pine: Com?die
[c. 1776], F-Pn, Musique,
Huguet,
Airs d?tach?s de Fleur d'?pine, survives
in F-Pn, Musique,
Y. 552.
F.358, and H. 954. A collection,
in reduced
Published
s.d.
score, Paris: Delormel,
c. 1749, Paris: Veuve
score was published
edition of the 1749 ver
Boivin, s.d. For a modem
53. A reduced
s?rie iv/19 [RCT 62A], ed. Graham
sion, see Zoroastre
Sadler,
(version 1749), in: Opera Omnia Rameau,
R?s.

52.

Paris, 1999. For an edition of the 1756 revision see Zoroastre.


Trag?die Lyrique de L de Cahusac. Resitution
par Fran?oise Gervais, Paris, 1964.
Like Die Zauberfl?te,
this opera has been read as a Masonic
III,1244-46.
54. For a synopsis of both, see NGO,
and the story
is set in Egypt. As
in the case of
allegory, owing the fact that Cahusac was a Freemason
Mozart's
there
is no compelling
evidence
for this interpretation,
which
is purely speculative.
opera,

David

212

J.Buch

already a familiar figure in the French musical stage.55 The fairy-tale theme of trial
in the 1756 revision. Am?lite
has been abducted
and initiation is especially emphasized
is also
in order to undergo a trial to determine
her virtue. Zoroastre
and imprisoned

was

to see

if he will keep his faith in face of the impending loss of Am?lite. Rameau's
et C?phise, ou La Sympathie, a pastorale-h?ro?que
in three acts on a text by Jean
Fran?ois Marmontel
(L'Acad?mie royale, 19 Nov. 1751),56 is yet another pastoral fairy
about
the
story
testing of a young couple. Johann Christian Bach's trag?die lyrique,Amadis

tested

Acante

trial scene for


(L'Acad?mie royale, 14 Dec. 1779)57 includes a short pantomime
a
the hero and his beloved Oriane at the conclusion of the opera. Amadis overcomes

de Gaule

ou Amadis passe sous l'arc de


leading to the Air pour le moment
an
loyaux amans',
elegant and solemn march for wind ensemble.
orn?e de mu
Urb?lise et Lanval ou ?ajourn?e aux aventures is a three-act
'com?die-f?erie
series of obstacles

Bourlin (called Dumaniant), with music by [?] Dupr?


sique et de chant' by Antoine-Jean
des
Vari?t?s
30 Apr. 1788).58 On the day of her birth Destiny
[Palais-Royale],
(Th??tre
ever
said that ifUrb?lise
yielded to love, she would be indanger of losing her attractions
and powers. The one who touches her heart must be unalterably faithful, for even one
The knight
slight indiscretion or a chance word will bring her the greatest misfortune.
to undergo any trial to win her. She
Lanval declares his love for her and his willingness
prove his fidelity, never uttering her name to anyone and never being
or deed. Her fate is in his hands, and they will be separated forever

tells him he must


unfaithful

inword

swears

if he fails. He

to meet

these

is a character

en trois inter
lamagie, a 'divertissment
comique
fair
3 Feb. 1678), the oldest
(St. Germain,
printed
et
in S?miramis by Destouches,
in
Pirame
Thisb?
Rebel
4 Dec.
1718,
by
in the 1732 ballet, Les G?nies ou ?es caract?res
de l'amour, by Fleury de
L'Acad?mie
royale, 18 Oct.
1736.

in Les Forces de

by Maurice Vondrebeck
is also a character
Zoroastre
play.
& Francceur
(17 Oct.
1726), and

m?des',

Lyon, music by Mlle. Duval,


Printed score (Paris: Boivin,

of elements

in common

with Die Zauberfl?te.


into Masonry, they could be interpreted as
absorbed
in four
is speculative.60 Der Schiffbruch, 'ein M?hrchen'

Egyptian fairy-tale operas


Because Egyptian elements were
Masonic; but that interpretation
55- Zoroastre

and succeeds.59

conditions,

have a number

l'amour et de

and Charles

Alard

in F-Pn, X. 856, H. 709. A modem


Le Clerc, s.d.), copies
edition will
in the Opera omnia, s?rie IV/21, edited by Robert
Fajon and Sylvie Bouissou.
in a score edition
57. The music was published
(Paris: Sieber, s.d.). The livret by Alphonse-Denis-Marie
text for the opera by Lully.
du Valgay was based on Quinault's
Vismes

56

in F-Pn,
1788) is preserved
58. The livret (Paris: Gattey
& les airs de danse de M. Dupr?, ma?tre de musique
has evidence
of an earlier premiere
communication,
59. The

comic

element

scene

hanging
old woman.
60.

Richard

at the

in the
Other

scaffold.

Engl?nder,
has

Johann

Gottlieb

suggested
Johann Gottlieb

the

Naumann

that Osiride,
Naumann,

hero

falls

include

a beautiful

in love with

als Opernkomponist
a dramma per m?sica
Kurf?rstliches
Kleines

an

as an

young fairy disguised


in a small portrait.

image

(1741-1801),
in two acts

Leipzig,

1922,

167-68,

Mazzol?,
by Caterino
a direct
Theater,
27 Oct.
1781, is
an Italian court opera,
singspiel, this is

But unlike Schikaneder's


of Die Zauberfl?te.
precursor
of Prince Anton,
the duke of Saxony, and Princess Caroline
occasioned
by the wedding
also suggests
that
the nuptial circumstance.
here clearly reflects
The allegory
Engl?nder
Masonic

de

les entre-actes
"L'ouverture,
Imprim?s, 8? 12653/54:
in a private
du Th. du Palais-Royale".
Michel Noiray,
at the Th??tre
des Vari?t?s,
28 April, 1787.
lazzi include a
with the Arlequin
character whose

typical exchanges
standard
elements

is also a scene where

There

337-59,
326-28,
with music
by

occurs

appear

of Sardinia.
Lorenzo

da

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

213

acts by Graf von Spaur, was first performed


inK?nigsberg
in 1778, with music by Nikolaus
M?hle
This
borrows
elements
from the commedia
(lost).61
Egyptian fairy-tale opera
tragedy, and the biblical account of Joseph. The solemn scenes with
in
in the second act of Die Zauberfl?te
the
priests
temple predate a similar episode
by
over thirteen years. The plot concerns two brothers/the
Malsora
and
his
Egyptian King
brother Makon, a wise magician who has been unjustly banished by his brother. Masora
deH'arte,62 Greek

successfully pass a trial of his virtue and be freed from the guilt of his crime against
Makon. Makon
in turn must restrain himself as his brother endures the trial. He tells

must

that his daughter Selma has agreed to be punished for her father's crime against
Selma has been
imprisoned by the Furies in a rocky abyss, banished from
humanity just as Makon was banished by Malsora. Through this trial Malsora sees the
error of his ways, enduring his hardships with dignity and honor.

Malsora

the gods.

The most

isAlcindor, an 'op?ra-f?erie'
setting of a fairy-tale
on a text by Marc-Antoine-Jacques
in three acts for the Royal Academy,
Rochon de
with
music
Nicolas
Dez?de
of
the Island
Chabannes,
by
(17 Apr. 1788).63 Alcindor, king
of Gold,

ambitious

Parisian musical

the glory of war. His genie-protector,


Almovars, wants to make
to
so
the
of
his
and
he subjects Alcindor to
responsive
happiness
people,
trials that test his virtue and teach him wisdom. There are several mysterious

only desires

him more

rigorous
ceremonial

scenes

in a solemn

and a dark grotto.


Like Die Zauberfl?te, Christian August Vulpius's Singspiel Der Schleyer, with music by Ernst
Wilhelm Wolf
Kom?dienhaus,
(Weimar, Herzogliches
1786), has initiatory trials for both
temple

the noble and the comic couples, and magic implements. Christoph
Friedrich Bretzner's
er
three-act
sie (also titled Das Irrlicht),was
'Operette', Der Irrwisch, oder Endlich fand
one of the most

popular fairy-tale singspiel texts of the late eighteenth


century.64 The
includes an elaborate trial scene with maidens at the temple with a prophetic

libretto

fire on the altar.

Ponte

in the writing

of the libretto and that Mozart


are
knew the opera.
Both suggestions
shares a number of elements
with Die Zauberfl?te,
opera
including moralizing
rule, and a scene with a portrait
speeches
given to the hero, causing him to fall in love
with the beautiful
The
to a trial of their virtue and the earth
lovers are subjected
image of a woman.
the villains at the end. There
is a scene for Ferdinando
and Bodino
in a dark
opens
up and swallows
area with unseen voices that
subterranean
can rescue his beloved.
that Ferdinando
All of this
promise
is couched
in an archetypal
Manichean
struggle, with
light and fire symbolizing
good.
participated

entirely

61. A

The
speculative.
on enlightened

libretto

survives from the 1778 Frankfurt production,


by Franz Hugo, Freihern von Kerpen
(lost).
a magician
causes
the 'naufrage' plot, where
Particularly

Frankfurt:

Andre?ische

Schriften,

1778, with

music

a
shipwreck.
score and parts
1787, and Paris: Ballard 1787. The manuscript
in Paris, Biblioth?que-Mus?e
de l'Op?ra, shelfmark A. 319 (l-lll), Mat. 18 [6 (parts); the dance music
is found
in the same
library's Recueil d'airs de ballet, vol. 26.
am Rannst?dter
include 1) Friedrich Preu, Leipzig, Theater
score
Tor, 1779 (a manuscript
64. Musical
settings
survives
inHamburg's
Staats- und Universit?tsbibliothek
and the libretto was printed
Carl-von-Ossietzky,
62.

63. The
are

livret was

(Leipzig: Carl
(lost), 3) Otto
K. M?hle

published,

Friedrich
Carl

Paris: Delormel

F. Schneider,
1779, and Leipzig: C
1779
1788), 2) O. F. Holly, Breslau,
Freiherr von Kospoth,
2 Oct.
Berlin, D?bbelin's
Theater,
1780, 4) Nikolaus
Kleines Theater,
1780, lost), 5) Christian
K?nigsberg,
Ludwig Dieter
(Stuttgart,

Schneider,

Erdmann,

(in four acts,

David

214

three

J.Buch

at the Theater
of Die Zauberfl?te
auf der Wieden
all
predecessors
in their fairy-tale plots. Like Die Zauberfl?te, Oberon, K?nig
employ
initiatory elements
der Elfen (7 Nov. 1789)65 includes an initiatory trial for the lovers (H?on and Amande,
performed
by the original Tamino and Pamina, Benedikt Schack and Anna Gottlieb).

The

direct

are tested
in
(11 Sep. 1790) a young couple (Nadir and Nadine)
the possession of the greatest of all magic implements, the philosopher's
InDer wohlt?tige Derwisch (early 1791) a prince named Sofrano must
learn to

InDer Stein der Weisen


order

to merit

stone.

in order to learn the virtue of


powers of an evil fairy-princess
the inheritance from his father, a wise magician-king.
In his fairy
tale Singspiels that followed Die Zauberfl?te
Schikaneder
initiatory
regularly employed
trials as a dramatic plot device.

withstand

the seductive
and merit

self-control

11 Sept. 1791,
libretto Der Spiegelritter (Frankfurt, Nationaltheater,
August von Kotzebue's
with music by IgnazWalter),
also based on Dschinnistan, stresses the battle between
trials by being offered food and
good magic and evil sorcery. Again a prince undergoes
wine on a magically set table (a device found in at least as far back as Shakespeare's
The
Tempest)
seductive

by the evil dwarfs and beautiful maidens of the enchantress Milmi, who make
includes prayers of thanks to heavenly powers that
proposals.66 The music

recall similar texts


The

and his priests.67


scheme
of the putative Masonic

for Sarastro

smaller details

are no

less problematic. Chailley


as punishment,
is a Masonic
that the padlock, placed on Papageno's mouth
from the female initiation ritual.68 But Schikaneder used the padlock in
symbol borrowed
same place in the first act of Der Stein der Weisen, where the woods
the
approximately
believes

(Schikaneder's
role) places a padlock on the door of his cabin to imprison
his unfaithful wife. Mozart even employs the music from Der Stein der Weiser?s padlock
in his first Quintet of Die Zauberfl?te, when the padlock has been removed from
episode
(see Example 1).
Papageno's mouth

man

Lubano

The

'Masonic Overture'

and Chailley have asserted that the three flats in the key of E flat and the
at the beginning of Mozart's overture were
intended to suggest Ma
repeated
on keys ever
commentator
symbolism. But no contemporary
sonry's numerological

Both Nettl

chords

revised and the work was retitled Das Irrlicht by Gottlieb


numbers were
1782, 6) The musical
17 Jan. 1782.
production,
Burgtheater,
Stephanie.
Ignaz Umlauf provided music for a Viennese
libretto
romantisch-komische
Oper by Karl Ludwig Giesecke was based on the more elaborate
65. The three-act
1788, on Wieland's
epic poem.
by F. S. Seyler, who based her libretto, H?on und Amande, Schleswig,
as in Die Zauberfl?te.
scene with the comic companion,
In the
66. Four prattling
ladies have an ensemble
23 Sept.

finale of act 3 Milmi sings a coloratura


passage
swearing
that recalls
Fluch!...
h?rt mein w?thendes
Geschrei')
67. Although

it is not

Leopoldstadttheater,
to include similar
68. Chailley,

a fairy-tale

vengeance
('Fluch ?ber Dich! den bitterlichsten
aria.
the Queen
of the Night's
second
der Braminen,
Friedrich
Hensler's
Das
Sonnenfest

Karl
opera,
9 Sept. 1790, with music
by Wenzel
'feierlich' choral numbers.

1972,111-12.

M?ller,

may

have

also

inspired

Schikaneder

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

215

Example

Der Stein derWeisen

Weib-chen,

ja, so bleibt'sbe-schlos-senWeibchen,

ja, so bleibt'sbe-schlos-sen.

Papageno

designated this key as Masonic.69 For C. F.D. Schubart (c. 1784), three flats represented
the trinity; thus it had a Christian association.70 The combination
of winds
(particularly
a
do
create
the trombones71)
that suggests an
and low-pitched
timbre
special
strings
a number of different scenes in
and otherworldly
affect. This timbre permeates
a
the opera. Mozart used
similar timbre in his Requiem; here the instrumentation
sug

exotic

gests Christian solemnity. At least one earlier fairy-tale opera at the Wiednertheater,
in the solemn finale of the second act,
Der Stein der Weisen, has similar orchestration
with trombones,
trumpets, horns and low strings. This isa traditional instrumentation for
in the merveilleux style of many different types of opera. Gluck was particularly
episodes
adept at employing these timbres in supernatural scenes.
The form of Mozart's overture
is
recalls an old tradition, the French overture, which
suggestive of the source of operatic merveilleux, Lully's trag?dies en musique. Quinault's
a revival over the last fifteen years, and Roland, Atys, Armide,
operas had experienced

69.

See

Rita

Steblin,

A History

of Key Characteristics

in the Eighteenth

and Early Nineteenth

Centuries,

Ann

Arbor,

1983.
Friedrich
70. Christian

Daniel

Leipzig: Wolkenwanderer-Verlag,
Paris: Vve. H?rissant,
1787.

Schubart,

Ideen zu

1924, 261-62.

einer ?sthetik
Also

see

der Tonkunst

Jean-Fran?ois

[c. 1784-85],
Lesueur, Expos?

Vienna,

1806/

d'une musique,

use of the basset horn is also supposed


to suggest Freemasonry.
But the composer
71. Mozart's
employed
in operas
content.
the instrument
that have no Masonic
For example,
Mozart
used a pair of basset
in the insertion aria for Adriana Gabrieli
in the revival of La nozze di Figaro, Vienna,
horns
('la Ferrarese')
in the aria 'Non pi? di fiori' from La
July 1789, K. 577: AI desio, di chi t'adora,' and a solo basset horn
and Johann Baptist Henneberg
clemenza
di Tito, Prague, 1791. Schikaneder
recycled
a new German
in their 1793Wiednertheater
Singspiel, Die Waldm?nner.
text)

the

latter aria (with

2l6

David

and Amadis were


chords

opening

J.Buch

set to contemporary
music in abridged livrets for the Paris stage. The
hire an invocation of sorts, an 'an
in Die Zauberfl?te
of the overture

in their operas. The initialwind


nonce', as the French called such instrumental segments
serve as a kind of motto
as well, as found in the introduction to
and string Accords'
and
in the first finale, 'Herr, ich bin zwar Verbrecherin',
Pamina's address to Sarastro
in act 2, scenes 1 and 19.
'der dreimalige Accord'
starts with material that recalls a celebrated Viennese
supernatural court
as
as
late
in
Vienna
Traetta's
Armida, performed
opera,
1780
(see Example 2). The allegro
as well as the slow introduction uses melodic material similar to Die Zauberfl?te. Rather
than a reference to a putative 'Masonic' musical style, these are references to a traditional

The overture

in opera. Giuseppe Gazzaniga's opera seria, La Circe (D. Perelli,


20
Venice, S Benedetto,
May 1786) has a similar opening, suggesting that this music may
have had an association with marvelous operas with a powerful sorceress as an antagonist
aspect

of the merveilleux

supernatural references also have similar opening


(see Example 3).72 Operas without
//matrimonio segreto (Burgtheater, Feb. 1792). The use
for example, Cimarosa's
of three-fold
chords in opera is an old tradition, without Masonic meaning. Gluck has a
chords,

chord repeated three times to signal an otherworldly


force inthe ballet S?miramis (Vienna,
1765), at the conclusion of Telemaco, ossia l'isola di Circe (Vienna, 1765),73 and in Iphig?nie
en Tauride (1774, performed
in a German translation at Vienna's Burgtheater
in 1781).
Example

2
Traetta,

Armida,

"Sinfonia."

Staccato e maestoso

Presto,doke

???????

I Jf \7f

, jJj

JTTTJTTT,J

?&t?

'A?iSn

10
f

_rrv

\f

rpff rpi? r

to IgnazWalter's
is used to begin the overture
Des Teufels Lustschloss
identical motive
72. An almost
(1801),
also in E flat and also treated with counterpoint.
ossia l'isola di Circe in Christoph Willibald Gluck: S?mtliche Werke,
Telemaco,
Gluck,
73. Christoph Willibald
Karl Geiringer,
ed.
ed.
Rudolf
Kassel,
i/2,
Gerber,
1972.
gen.

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

217

Example

La Circe, Overture

Gazzaniga,

The melodic

and textural

aspects of the contrapuntal


allegro section hardly suggest
isa clich? used by numerous composers of that time, not just
Masonry. The main melody
con
in
his
brio' movement
from the B flat sonata, Op. 24, n?. 2.74
Clementi
by
'allegro
in
The motive suggests the idea of flight and exhibits Mozart's compositional
virtuosity
a contrapuntal opening that is rare in contemporary
French overtures
opera overtures.
with fast contrapuntal movements
and intermittent sections of wind music recall Rameau's
especially the overture
learned style of church music,
of E flat had been associated with
overtures,
the

to Zoroastre.

The contrapuntal texture here suggests


a frequent reference
in supernatural operas. The key
the infernal realm by composers
from Lully to Gluck.

Conclusions
demonstrated

Having
without

that elements

often

said to be Masonic

were

already at hand
re-evaluate
the

in earlier supernatural opera, one might


Masonic meaning
for and against assuming that Schikaneder or Mozart deployed these elements
as Masonic references
inDie Zauberfl?te. The fact that Mozart and Schikaneder were
reasons

both
with

Freemasons
a Viennese

(although
lodge) does

there

is no evidence

not constitute

that Schikaneder

a reason

as such. Other

was

ever

Viennese

involved
librettists

and composers were Freemasons


and there is no evidence of them including Masonic
in their operas. One composer, PaulWranitzky,
references
whose Masonic credentials
even
of
the
for
those
music
the
earlier fairy-tale opera at
Mozart,
equaled
composed
in 1789, Oberon, K?nig der Elfen. Like Die Zauberfl?te,
the text of
on the writing of Christoph Martin Wieland.
Schikaneder's
theatre
poet, Karl Ludwig Giesecke,
adapted the text from an earlier libretto. While Giesecke
was also a Freemason and a member
of Mozart's
lodge there is nothing in the opera to
the Wiednertheater

Oberon was

based

ever known to have produced a 'Masonic' text


Freemasonry. Nor was Giesecke
numerous
wrote
he
for
Schikaneder.
the
Schikaneder's own libretto for
among
pieces
Der Stein der Weisen, with a hint of alchemy in its title, seems even more suitable for the
suggest

Masonic

treatment,

and Mozart was

even

involved

in some of the music

74- Otto
Jahn, W. A. Mozart,
1976,
Leipzig 1859, repr. Hildesheim,
Lazarus' Auferstehung,
cantata,
J.H. Collo's
Leipzig, 1779.

iv, 612, cites

another

for this opera.

similar theme

from

David

218

as a broad subtext.
But again, there is nothing here to suggest Freemasonry
are the basis for this libretto, just as there are for Die Zauberfl?te.
elements

J.Buch

Fairy-tale

inDie Zauberfl?te
is
frequently cited reason for assuming Masonic references
a
from
that Schikaneder
from
few
Terrasson
and
passages
Jean
paraphrased
perhaps
von
more
texts
Born.
It
is
far
that
he
used
these
because
likely
they offered con
Ignaz
venient jargon suggesting arcane, occult wisdom,
rather than to create a hidden level of

Another

meaning. Ludwig von Batzko's statement that 'scenes obliquely allude to the ceremonies
of certain orders; even the uninitiated will understand provided they are acquainted with
seen in this light. Schikaneder prob
of the ancient culture' is accurate when
mysteries
scenes
act
these
that
2, scene 1) should suggest authentic
(for example,
ably intended
But one
including but not limited to those used in Freemasonry.
a
or
one
was
cannot conclude from this that he intended
broader allegory
that
specifi
reason
in
to
elements
the
Masonic.
The
other
opera as
only plausible
interpret
cally

occult

ceremonies,

isthat Schikaneder and Mozart may have


casual, fragmentary references to Freemasonry
to include something familiar for members
of the audience aware of Masonic
stated aim: to insure a successful box office.75
practices. This was, after all, Schikaneder's

wanted

(Creating a network of hidden references would not further this aim.) The problem with
of the audience would be familiar with the
is that not many members
this explanation
minute details of Masonic ritual. But many would be entertained
by vague allusions to
account of Die Zauberfl?te
in
Indeed, no contemporary
ceremony and wisdom.
or
even mentions
kind.
of
any
suggests allegory
Freemasonry
a
also
of
hidden
Masonic
references
contradicts
what we know of
Assuming
complex
occult

Vienna

had to
librettos. Throughout
his career Schikaneder
approach to writing
charges of literary ineptitude and a lack of sophistication. His librettos contain

Schikaneder's
address
few

75-

literary allusions

Schikaneder's
in note

cited

intentions
26. Another

auf der Welt'

Ding

awkwardness

and occasional

from

were

stated

example
his comic

several

opera,

times
in a verse

is found

Der dumme

and

in poetry,

in different

he added
G?rtner

language and plot.76 Die

contexts.

to his aria

The

'EinWeib

aus dem Geb?rge,

best example
ist das herrlichste

zweiter

is

Theil, oder Die

verdeckten Sachen (1789):


der gl?cklichste Mann von der Welt,
stets unser Schauspiel den G?nnern gef?llt,
Ich suchte von jeher durch stetes Bem?h'n,

Ich bin wohl


Wenn

Beyfall des Publikums an mich zu zieh'n,


Ich danke daf?r mit dem w?rmsten
Gef?hl,
Ihn stets zu verdienen, sey einzig mein Ziel...

Den

aus dem Geburge oder die zween Anton..., Vienna:


is found inText der Arien des dummen G?rtners
Nro. 928:1790,
Theatermuseum,
copy inVienna, ?sterreichisches
Ludwig in der Singerstrasse
Ths. 200b.
shelfmark 698.427-A
Bibliothek,
zur Erz?hlung:
"Commentar
Johan Schenk, von J. P. Lyser, inNr. 27 u. s. des uten
Ignaz von Seyfried,
f?r Musik," Neue Zeitschrift
Bandes der neuen Zeitschrift
f?r Musik xii, Jan-June 1840, Leipzig: Robert
as a practical,
instinctive and unsophisticated
described
Schikaneder
Friese, n? 45, 2 June 1840,179-80,

This

envoi

Matthias

76.

im strengsten Wortsinn
Naturalist;
[...] sah er sich stets nur
[...] war und blieb
ersetzte
literarischer
Kenntnisse
aber, wenig
beschr?nkt;
[...] Jenen g?nzlichen
Mangel
ein offener
Menschenverstand,
theilweise,
Erfahrung,
richtiger Tact, gesunder
Kopf, praktische

librettist:

'Schikaneder

auf sich selbst


stens

Die Zauberfl?te,

Masonic Opera,

and Other

FairyTales

is no exception,
and it is consistent
Zauberfl?te
contain symbolic material to be decoded. Thus

with

219

his other

Schikaneder's

librettos, which
evocations

do not

of occult

cer

emony, cant, and platitudes used by Freemasons was more


likely to be perceived on the
rather than as a key to some deeper meaning.
"surface" of the performance
In summary the evidence suggests that it isunlikely that Schikaneder and Mozart intended
a pervasive

in the libretto may


allegory, although a few fragmentary elements
to
This
not
to
that
is
the Craft played an insignificant
say
obliquely refer
Freemasonry.
role in Mozart's and Schikaneder's
circle, that it ought to be ignored when discussing
the intellectual background of the opera, or even that the librettist and composer of Die
Masonic

never associated
in some way. But the evi
Zauberfl?te
Freemasonry with their project
dence presented above challenges the equalizing of the indisputable fairy-tale elements
with
interpretations that are purely speculative and based on flimsy evidence at best.
one would not argue for an end to speculation based on peripheral sources, one
While
in
separate speculation from fact, and apply a more rigorous standard of ?vidence
in
advocating a theory. The fairy-tale Singspiels that directly preceded Die Zauberfl?te
the Wiednertheater
establish the context of Mozart's opera and reveal the importance

must

of fairy tales and the theatrical

Mutterwitz,

und

B?hnenroutine,

destoweniger

fruchtbare

'marvelous'

eine,

Phantasie;

in its libretto and score.

und zwangslos
aber nichts
ausschweifende,
regele
es denn auch erkl?rbar wird, weshalb
die vorz?glichsten
nicht verschm?hten,
bei der elenden Verselei
Ausgeburten

obschon

wodurch

Componisten
jener Epoch seine poetischen
und dem erb?rmlichen
Reimgeklingel
gutm?thig
Although
ing from

an den reichen
die Augen
und dagegen
zudr?ckten,
= effectvollen
musikalisch
Momente
sich hielten.'
berechneten,
are often unreliable,
secondand third-hand
accounts
in this instance he is speak
He had been
for Schikaneder's
music
knowledge.
composing
productions
(and

an die

Situationswechsel,
Seyfried's
first-hand

stets

wohl

a music director
since 1797 and he became
librettos)
an der Wien.
Theater
His contact with Schikaneder
Mozart

makes

this assessment

more

credible

at the Theater
in exactly

than those

based

the
on

auf der Wieden


same

and then

collaborative

second-hand

reports

role
and

at the

as that of
rumor.