Die Zauberflöte: What’s in a Title?

Scholars have argued over Die Zauberflöte for many years. Is it a fairy-tale opera, a metaphorical discussion of Masonic and Rosicrucian beliefs, or a contemporary political or philosophical commentary on the 1780s and the Enlightenment? It can be all these and more, but for many of the audience during fall 1791, it was entertainment, pure and simple. The audience at the Theater auf der Weiden came from all levels of society. The nobility and educated attended as well as the working and servant classes.

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