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Mozart’s Magic Flute: Love, Life, and Enchantment

Erica Miner

With his genius-infused opera The Magic Flute, Mozart created a world of enchantment and mystery that has delighted and charmed operagoers of all ages over the past two centuries. In this two-lecture program, former Metropolitan Opera violinist Erica Miner explores Mozart’s perennially appealing fantasy love story and the reasons for the work’s unending popularity.

Oct 10: The Magic Flute: The Soul of Genius

Filled with divine humor and endowed with extraordinary gifts, Mozart represents all things youthful, bright, and sunny. Certainly his Magic Flute demonstrates these qualities. But in the end, as Mozart himself said, “Love is the soul of genius,” and the composer’s belief in the ideals and beliefs of Freemasonry and the Enlightenment infuse this most beloved of all his operas. This lecture will explore the deeper, more enduring truths that lie at the heart of Mozart’s final operatic work: the power of love, the infinite perfectibility of man, and the journey toward a Heaven on Earth in which mortals become godlike.

Oct 12: The Magic Flute: Mozart’s Dark Side

In the latter part of his too-short life, many of Mozart’s compositions in somber minor keys reflected his difficult life circumstances. Even his enchanting Magic Flute showed a dark side. Nonetheless, Mozart’s final opera ends with life-affirming positivity. With musical excerpts, and artistic images from Magic Flute productions of Marc Chagall, Julie Taymor, and Zandra Rhodes, this lecture will examine in detail how Mozart transformed a heroic journey of a prince, his beloved princess, and a phantasmagorical half-man half-bird in their quest to fight the forces of evil, into one of the world’s most treasured musical tales, ending in the triumph of truth, wisdom, and brotherhood.

Instructor: As a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 21 years, Erica Miner worked closely with such celebrated maestros as James Levine and Leonard Bernstein. Now an award-winning screenwriter, published author, arts writer, and lecturer, she is an active contributor to major arts websites and magazines. Her thriller novel, Murder in the Pit, chronicles assassination and intrigue at the Met.

Coordinator: Jim Wyrtzen

Course Number: OSHR-70020   Credit: 0 units

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