M602: Seminar in Musicology: Die Zauberflöte

Daniel R. Melamed

Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

Fall 2020




Tuesdays, 3.00-6.00 PM

 25 Aug    1. Introduction


   1 Sep     2. Der Stein der Weisen/Theater auf der Wieden


  8 Sep      3. Libretto


15  Sep    4. Arias


22 Sep     5. Finales. Guest: John Platoff


29 Sep     6. Censorship. Guest: Lisa de Alwis


 6 Oct      7. The representation of women. Guest: Jessica Waldoff


13 Oct     8. Die Zauberflöte on film


20 Oct     9. Analysis


27 Oct   10. Topic workshop


  3 Nov  11. Repertory of the Theater auf der Wieden


10 Nov  12. Repertory of the Theater auf der Wieden (cont.)


17 Nov  13. Problems of genesis


Thanksgiving Break


  1 Dec  14. Paper conferences


  8 Dec   15. Presentations




Schikenader and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte as a starting point for the study of late eighteenth-century opera.


Prof. Daniel R. Melamed    dmelamed (AT) indiana.edu
Office hours: By appointment (e-mail to arrange). E-mail questions are welcome at any time.

Course information, assignments, reserve lists and this schedule can be found at http://dmelamed.pages.iu.edu/M602-MagicFlute-2020.htm, also reachable through  http://mozart.melamed.org.



The course grade will be based on presentations, participation and the final paper. There will be no examinations.


Miguel Arango Calle

Mitia Ganade D'Acol

Mingfei Li

Daniel R. Melamed

Grace Pechianu


Original libretto   as pdf             Libretto (critical text)        Poetic numbers        English translation

Autograph score (D-B)     Piano-vocal score (Simrock, c. 1793)   

Modern scores:  MW        NMA    KB

Eric Offenbacher collection at Harvard



2. Der Stein der Weisen

1796 libretto

Text and translation
Synopsis (in the introduction to the score)

Score M2 .R286 v. 76 [Music Reference] introduction

Recording: Pearlman


David J. Buch. "Der Stein der Weisen, Mozart, and Collaborative Singspiels at Emanuel Schikaneder's Theater auf der Weiden." Mozart-Jahrbuch 2000: 91-119.

David J. Buch. "Emanuel Schikaneder as Theater Composer, or Who Wrote Papageno's Melodies in Die Zauberflöte?" Divadelní revue 26/2 (2015). 160-7.

3. Libretto

Christoph Martin Wieland, Dschinnistan, oder auserlesene Feen- und Geistermärchen.
         vol i. (1786)        vol.2 (1787)        vol. 3 (1789)              Contents


Peter Branscombe. "Die Zauberflöte: Some Textual and Interpretative Problems." Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association 92 (1965 - 1966): 45-63 .

Gerd Ibler. "Betrachtungen und historische Feststellungen zur Urheberschaft des Textbuches zur deutschen Oper 'Die Zauberflöte.'" Acta Mozartiana 59 (2012): 45-61.

Günter Meinhold. Zauberflöte und Zauberflöten-Rezeption. Studien zu Emanuel Schikenaders Libretto. Die Zauberflöte und seiner literarischen Rezeption. Hamburger Beiträge zur Germanistik 34. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2001.

Alternative text

Michael Freyhan. "Toward the Original Text of Mozart's 'Die Zauberflöte.'" Journal of the American Musicological Society 39 (1986): 355-380.

Michael Freyhan. The Authentic Magic Flute Libretto: Mozart’s Autograph or the First Full-Score Edition? Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009.
    Web site: http://www.freyhan.co.uk/

Michael Freyhan. "Mozart's Text Setting in the "Magic Flute.'" Acta musicologica 83 (2011): 245-59.

Paul Corneilson. "Conspiracy Theory." [Review of Michael Freyhan, The Authentic Magic Flute Libretto]. Newsletter of the Mozart Society of America 14/2 (2010): 18-19.


David J. Buch. Magic Flutes and Enchanted Forests. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2008.


Other topics

[Divergences between printed libretto and Mozart's score]

[Libretto prosody]



4. Arias


Mary Hunter. The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna: a Poetics of Entertainment. [Chapters 4 and 5] Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999. [online] [ML1723.8.V6 H86]

John Platoff. "The buffa aria in Mozart's Vienna." Cambridge Opera Journal 2 (1990): 99-120.

James Webster. "The analysis of Mozart's arias." In Mozart Studies, edited by Cliff Eisen, 101-199. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991.

James Webster. "Understanding opera buffa: analysis = interpretation." In Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna, edited by Mary Hunter and James Webster, 340-377. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

James Webster. "Mozart's operas and the myth of musical unity." Cambridge Opera Journal 2 (1990): 197-218. [Introduction and portion on arias, through p. 204]

Thomas Bauman, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Chapter 5, pp. 75-82.





5. Finales. Guest: Prof. John Platoff


John Platoff. "The Finales of The Magic Flute." [typescript]


John Platoff. "Musical and Dramatic Structure in the Opera Buffa Finale."  Journal of Musicology 7 (1989): 191-230.



John Platoff. "Tonal organization in 'buffo' finales and the Act II finale of 'Le Nozze di Figaro.'" Music and Letters 72 (1991): 387-403.


Alfred Lorenz. "Das Finale in Mozarts Meisteropern." Die Musik 19 (1926-27): 622-32.

Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker. "Dismembering Mozart." Cambridge Opera Journal 2 (1990): 187-195.

Jessica Waldoff. Recognition in Mozart's Operas. Chapter 1. New York, Oxford University Press, 2006.


Markus Rathey. "Mozart, Kirnberger and the Idea of Musical Purity: Revisiting Two Sketches From 1782."  Eighteenth-Century Music 13/2 (2016): 235–252.


Christoph Wolff. "'O ew'ge Nacht! wann wirst [du] schwinden?' Zum Verständnis der Sprecherszene im ersten Finale von Mozarts 'Zauberflöte.'" In Analysen: Beiträge zu einer Problemgeschichte des Komponierens ; Festschrift für Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. Werner Breig, Reinhold Brinkmann, and Elmar Budde, 234-247. Beihefte zum Archiv für Musikwissenschft 23. Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1984.


A famous statement by Lorenzo Da Ponte on the construction of finales.


Figaro Act II finale--outline


Magic Flute finales--outlines


Stein der Weisen finales--outlines



6. Censorship. Guest: Prof. Lisa de Alwis


 Martin Nedbal. "Mozart, Da Ponte, and Censorship: Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte at the Vienna Court Theater." Zeitschrift für Literatur- und Theatersoziologie 11/15 (2018): 75-109. 
      The censored manuscript libretto that Nedbal discusses. (Cf. de Alwis dissertation, chapter 3)


Lisa de Alwis. "Censorship and Magical Opera in Early nineteenth-century Vienna." Ph.D. diss. University of Southern California, 2012.

pp. 16-52: context for issues around censorship.

 pp. 72-77: changes in censorship during different regimes in Austria.

Chapter 4: Two Magic Flute parodies, including a brief discussion of censorship specifically.
A printed libretto of one of the parodies.



7. The representation of women. Guest: Prof. Jessica Waldoff


To get started

Dorinda Outram. “Enlightenment thinking about gender.” in The Enlightenment, ed. Dorinda Outram. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Myra Jehlen. “Gender” in Critical Terms for Literary Study edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin, 2nd edn (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 263-73.


Mary Hunter. The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999. [84-92].


Jessica Waldoff. “Sense and Sensibility in Così fan tutte.” In Recognition in Mozart’s Operas, 184-223. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 


Gretchen A. Wheelock. “Schwarze Gredel and the Engendered Minor Mode in Mozart’s Operas.” in Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, edited by Ruth A. Solie, 201-221. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995.



On the opera

Catherine Clément. Opera, or the Undoing of Women, transl. Betsy Wing. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988. Pp. 70-76.


Carolyn Abbate. “Magic Flute, Nocturnal Sun,” In In Search of Opera, 55-106. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.   OR PDF


Carolyn Abbate. Unsung Voices. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001. Pp. 3-29.


Kristi Brown-Montesano. Understanding the Women of Mozart’s Operas. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. Pp. 81-106.  


Jane K. Brown. “The Queen of the Night and the Crisis of Allegory in The Magic Flute.Goethe Yearbook 8 (1996): 142-156. PDF


Kate Bertel. “Pamina, portraits, and the feminine in Mozart and Schikaneder’s Die Zauberflöte.Musicology Australia 22/1 (1999): 31-45. PDF


Jessica Waldoff, Recognition in Mozart’s Operas, pp. 68- 75.


For study

Whether in Mozart’s time or ours, making assumptions on the basis of sex is complicated. It is no secret that women were viewed (and treated) differently in earlier centuries. Still, a glance at any major newspaper today reminds us that women do not (yet) live in a world where they enjoy full equality with men either under the law or in their daily lives, so we should not judge the eighteenth century too harshly.


Many scholars and directors have sought to “correct” what they view as problematic in Die Zauberflöte’s representation of women. This can be done in a variety of ways – by seeking to read or hear differently, to rehabilitate individual characters, and to explore neglected aspects of the work. Often opera directors seek to stage works in new ways, sometimes leaving out or altering aspects that now seem objectionable. For our seminar meeting, we will focus on the following questions (and any others you would like to bring up):


1)     How do the readings for today attempt to offer a gendered reading that rehabilitates the Queen of the Night? Is it possible to redeem the Queen? Is it necessary to do so in order to avoid the accusation that the opera is misogynist? To make your case – either for or against – be sure to include music, text, and stage action with an emphasis on one of her arias.


2)     How do the readings for today allow for a more subtle and interesting reading of Pamina? Do the opera’s misogynist claims apply to her? Is she developed as a type or an exception? To make this case draw on at least two scenes (and their music) essential to her characterization.


3)     Identify four or five passages in the opera (spoken or sung) that are clearly misogynistic and problematic to modern ears. How do you understand the role of these moments in the drama? How do you think we could or should understand these problematic moments? Often these moments are altered or cut in performance. Imagine you are directing a performance in which these statements cannot be cut. How might they be understood in the larger context(s) of the opera as a whole, Schikaneder’s theater, Mozart’s world?


8. Die Zauberflöte on film

Trollflöjten dir. Ingmar Bergman (1975).  DVD 9247011 [Reserve]

Mozart's The Magic Flute dir. Kenneth Branagh (2006). Amazon Prime


Marcia Citron. Opera on screen. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Chapter 1 

Jeremy Tambling. Opera, ideology and film. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987. Introduction, Chapter 6 [that chapter also here as pdf]

Ingmar Bergman. The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography. Translated by Joan Tate. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. [IU access through Hathitrust; alternative way in here]

Jeongwon Joe. “Opera on Film, Film in Opera: Postmodern Implications of the Cinematic Influence on Opera.” PhD diss., Northwestern University, 1998. Introduction, Chapters 1-2.

Justin Mueller. "In diesen heil’gen Hallen: Mozart’s Magic Flute and the Mediatized Space of Opera." MA thesis, Tufts University, 2013.

Sabine Sonntag. "Der Erste Weltkrieg als Opernsetting: Kenneth Branaghs Film The magic flute." Kieler Beiträge zur Filmmusikforschung 12 (2016): 171-180.

9. Analysis

James Webster. "Understanding opera buffa: analysis = interpretation." In Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna, edited by Mary Hunter and James Webster, 340-377. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

James Webster. "Mozart's operas and the myth of musical unity." Cambridge Opera Journal 2 (1990): 197-218.

Alfred Lorenz. "Das Finale in Mozarts Meisteropern." Die Musik 19 (1926-27): 622-32.

Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker. "Dismembering Mozart." Cambridge Opera Journal 2 (1990): 187-195.


James Webster. "To Understand Verdi and Wagner We Must Understand Mozart." 19th-Century Music 11 (1987): 175-93. %%%


Frits Noske. "'Le nozze di Figaro': Musical Quotation as a Dramatic Device." In The Signifier and the Signified. Studies in the Operas of Mozart and Verdi. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977.


Erik Smith. "The Music." In W. A. Mozart. Die Zauberflöte, ed. Peter Branscombe, 111-41. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.


Jacques Chailley. The Magic Flute, Masonic Opera; An Interpretation of the Libretto and the Music. Transl. Herbert Weinstock. New York, A. A. Knopf, 1971.

10. Topic workshop

11. Repertory of the Theater auf der Wieden

Der dumme Gärtner


David J. Buch, ed. Two operas from the series Die zween Anton : Part 1, Der dumme Gärtner aus dem Gebürge oder Die zween Anton (Vienna, 1789). Recent Researches in Music of the Classical Era 96. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2015.


pv score Bonn: Simrock, 1797.          IMSLP


Variations K.613 DME score    Recording Alvini


Die verdeckten Sachen


David J. Buch, ed. Two Operas from the Series ‘Die zween Anton’, Part 2: Die verdeckten Sachen (Vienna, 1789). Recent Researches in Music of the Classical Era 98. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2016.


Der wohltätige Derwisch


David J. Buch, ed. Der wohltätige Derwisch (Vienna, 1791). Recent Researches in Music of the Classical Era 81. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2010.


Libretto Augsburg 1793   

Libretto 1794

Libretto Altona


Recording Pearlman/Boston Baroque



Der Zauberflöte zweyter Theil/Das Labyrinth oder der Kampf mit den Elementen


Libretto Berlin 1803

Libretto 1806

pv score Bonn: Simrock c. 1799

pv score https://books.google.com/books?id=UyDo-EhBpvIC



Der Königssohn aus Ithaka


Libretto 1797    another copy

MS score



Der Spiegel von Arkadien


Libretto 1795

MS score


Die Königen der schwarzen Inseln


Libretto 1797