Chapter

Woman's Identity I: Sacred and Profane

Kristi Brown-Montesano

in Understanding the Women of Mozart's Operas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248021
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932968 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520248021.003.0006
Woman's Identity I: Sacred and Profane

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Between the two representations of womanhood in the Queen of the Night, one can find the Three Ladies. Inseparable, they occupy a middle ground that does not always conflict with the Kingdom of Light, but is nevertheless prohibited from becoming part of it. Unlike the Queen, the Ladies engage in dialogue with Papageno and Tamino, participate in the musical “morals” of the opera, and even dramatize many of the symbols of initiation. Female Masonry was one of the most pressing issues for Masons in Mozart's time, since the lodges' secret practices and exclusively male membership offered valuable ammunition to anti-Masonic forces, both political and clerical.

Keywords: Three Ladies; Queen of Night; Pamina; opera morals; Prince Tamino; initiation; Masonry

Chapter.  6133 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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