[Square & Compasses]
Article: 1291 of alt.freemasonry
From: pkastl@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu (Peter R. Kastl)
Newsgroups: alt.freemasonry
Subject: The Magic Flute
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 08:47:54 UNDEFINED
Organization: Tulane Medical School
Lines: 55
NNTP-Posting-Host: pkastl.tmc.tulane.edu
X-Newsreader: Trumpet for Windows [Version 1.0 Rev B final beta #4]

I, for one, am tired of all the flaming. As WM of my lodge, I am also in charge of our newsletter. I have been doing a research project on The Magic Flute opera by Mozart. I would like to share the work I've done.

Here is my first article. As you can tell, it is written for all readers.

Die Zauberflöte

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived to only his mid 30's, but is acknowledged to be one to the great minds of Western civilization. There were three factors which made him what he was. First, he was a genius. Modern analysis suggests that his IQ was about 185. Second, he was a prodigy. By the age of six Mozart had become an accomplished performer on the clavier, violin, and organ and was highly skilled in sight-reading and improvisation. Five short piano pieces composed by Mozart when he was six years old are still frequently played. Third, his father pushed him as hard as a parent could push a child.

The Magic Flute was first performed at the end of September, 1791. Mozart died two months later. In composing The Magic Flute, Mozart was aided by 3 other Masons, among them, Emanuel Schickeneder. Schickeneder owned a suburban theater, and had prevailed upon Mozart to write an opera. At the time, Freemasonry was threatened in Austria, so this opera was to show the Craft at its best: morality and virtue abounded in it. In addition (at least according to some sources), women were attempting to get into the Craft. They had their own Rites of Adoption, i.e., "adopted" by Masonry, but they wanted still more secrets. Therefore, in this opera, Mozart (and his collaborators) demonstrated the virtues of Freemasonry and satirized women who wanted to join the Craft.

The overture is in the Masonic key of E flat (3 flats). It begins with 5 strong chords; then a choppy (profane sounding) section; then 9 chords in 3’s; then another choppy section; ending with 3 strong chords. In the first scene, the protagonist Tamino comes in, wearing a Javanese hunting costume (he comes from the mysterious East), carrying a bow but no arrows (he has not been prepared), and is pursued by a serpent (temptation). He faints, falling level on the stage, appearing to be dead. He is saved by three women wearing veils (so they cannot see light), who use silver spears (silver is a "female" metal inferior to gold, a "male" metal). The "Three Ladies" argue over him, each wanting to possess him, but finally go off to tell their sovereign that Tamino may be able to help her with her problem.

Next: what is her problem?

Peter Kastl, WM
Albert Pike #376
New Orleans, LA

P.S. Our lodge is one of 10 "Scottish Rite" Blue Lodges in our District (there are a few more in the US). Our ritual is descended from France rather than England. If people are interested, I can yak about this, too.

Peter R. Kastl, M.D., Ph.D., Dept. of Ophthalmology
Tulane University Med School, New Orleans, LA

Up to A Page About Freemasonry main page.