TaminoThe Magic Flute Synopsis

Act I

A prince, Tamino, is chased by a vicious monster into the realm of the Queen of the Night. He is saved by the Queen's Three Ladies. The Queen herself commissions Tamino to rescue her daughter, Pamina, from an abductor, Sarastro. Tamino, by now in love with Pamina's portrait, will be rewarded by marrying Pamina. The bird-catcher Papageno is to be his helper. Their only aids are a magic flute and magic bells, gifts from the Queen. Pamina is captive in Sarastro's palace and guarded by the cruel, lecherous Monostatos. Papageno finds his way into Pamina's chambers, scares off Monostatos, and tells Pamina of Tamino's love for her. Extolling love, they leave together seeking Tamino. Tamino, led by Three Spirits, finds Sarastro's court and learns that he must join Sarastro's group in order to win Pamina. Glad that Pamina is still alive, he plays his flute and is answered in the distance by Papageno's pan pipes. As Tamino rushes out to find his comrade, Papageno and Pamina run in, but are intercepted by Monostatos. Only the music of Papageno's magic bells saves them from capture. Sarastro enters with his followers, and Monostatos brings in the captured Tamino. Tamino and Pamina see each other for the first time, but are forced to separate until Tamino and Papageno prove their worthiness.

Act II

Sarastro and his community's priests, discussing Tamino's and Papageno's entry into their society, realize that the two men must face dangerous tests and even mortal danger to prove themselves. But Pamina, too, undergoes agonizing trials: she must withstand Monostatos' unwelcome advances and threats against her life. She must reject her mother's increasingly unwholesome influences. During these events, Sarastro's goals are revealed as largely benevolent and the Queen's as evil. Papageno fails the tests, but his good nature wins him Papagena, the wife for whom he has longed. Tamino, with Pamina at his side, successfully passes the tests of fire and water. The Queen and her followers sink into oblivion. Sarastro and his followers celebrate as Tamino and Pamina are united through love and the power of the magic flute.

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