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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Out of Egypt

Reposted from my Examiner page. Click for the full article.

Five Operas Set on the Nile

This week marks the Metropolitan Opera's final performances this season of Verdi's Aida and Mozart's The Magic Flute. (And it's Passover.) So let's take a look at five very different operas that are set in the Kingdom of the Pharoahs.

The Magic Flute
Mozart's fantastic tale of a Prince seeking spiritual enlightenment (with help from an itinerant bird-catcher) is rich with Masonic symbolism. Both Mozart and his librettist (Emanuel Schikaneder) were Masons. The Masons are very into pyramids, the number three, and other such symbolism. So it's only natural that the opera is set in Egypt. As to why the Prince enters dressed in a "Japanese hunting costume", you're on your own.

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Original costume design by Auguste Mariette for the premiere of Aida.
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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.