Siouxland Observer

MS. ED

Friday, May 26, 2017


Mozart’s Bird of Prey


Mozart wrote “The Magic Flute” in 1791 for Emanuel Schikaneder, the owner of a theater in suburban Vienna.  The theater was vaudevillian, a low-brow place in the Bowery that would have left the impression of sordid lust, just as W. Somerset Maugham wrote in “The Razor’s Edge.”



Frowsty places of smoke, booze and of sweating bodies. Places of dead-tired men and mature women and young girls, “painted and bareheaded ... sweat shining on their faces, with a solemn intensity in which there was something horrible.”

"Die Zauberflöte": The Magic Flute.  It certainly helps explain the Queen of the Night.  She'd fit right in.