Mozart, “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” – A Youtube Powered Guide to Classical Music

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Stage setting for the SceneWolfgang Amadeus Mozart,

Die Zauberflöte, Act II, Scene 8, No. 14 Aria

premiered 30th September, 1791 in Vienna “Theater im Freihaus”

If operas only received their budget from the payments of their visitors instead of getting supported by governments they probably would just (need to) perform the “Zauberflôte” to cover their expenses. People just love this Singspiel  – and for good reason since it’s rally one of the most amazing operas. Mozart is a master of developing characters with and in his music. The most famous examples are the Arias of the Queen of the Night esp. “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen”, Sarastros “In diesen heil’gen Hallen” and Papagenos “Der Vogelfänger bin ich” (just to mention a few).

So here are two version of the famous aria No. 14.

The first is sung by Madame Natalie Dessay with her astonishing light sounding height. It just doesn’t feel like she is singing the second highest note ever forced by a composer (the highest by the way is demanded by Mozarts Concert Aria “Popoli di Tessaglia”). Last but not least it’s also a pleasure to look at her:

  

Eighth Scene:

Die Königin kommt unter Donner aus der mittleren Versenkung, und so, dass sie gerade vor Pamina zu stehen kommt.

[...]

Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,
Tod und Verzweiflung flammen um mich her!
Fühlt nicht durch dich Sarastro Todesschmerzen,
So bist du meine Tochter nimmermehr.

Verstossen sei auf ewig,
Verlassen sei auf ewig,
Zertrümmert sei’n auf ewig alle Bande der Natur
Wenn nicht durch dich Sarastro wird erblassen!

Hört, Rachegötter, hört der Mutter Schwur!

 

Unfortunately Madam Dessay doesn’t convince me of being the “Evil Queen” since she takes it so light and makes it too beautifully and mellow. I totally appreciate what she is doing but a bit more darkness, shrillness and (not to forget) madness would be nice for this aria. Have a look what Diana Daumrau is doing in comparison:


Diana Damrau as Queen of The Night

The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, conducted by Colin Davis

 

There is one more thing:


Natalie Dessay as Queen of The Night
“Oh Zittre nicht mein lieber Sohn”
Paris 2001

 Download Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen PDF (excerpt from “Zauberflöte”, orchestral score)
 
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