Notes on the Egyptian Motifs in Mozart’s Magic Flute

Operas are noted for their music rather than their librettos. They are attributed to their composers rather than their librettists. Thus the perennial popularity of Mozart’s Magic Flute is attributed to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music rather than Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto. Schikaneder’s plot revolves around the conversion and initiation of Tamino, Pamina, and Papageno into the mysteries of Isis and Osiris, seen largely from Tamino’s point of view. (This can provide some confusion for those who encounter the opera for the first time as Tamino learns in the second act that what he thought was good and evil in the first act is realy the other way around.)

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