One day in the second grade, my music teacher played us some music by Mozart. I remember thinking how lovely it was and fell under its spell as the notes traveled up and down the scale. Then an aria came on that sent a shiver through my body and made the hair on my arms stand on end! It was so powerful and strong that I wasn’t sure if I should jump out of my seat and start dancing, or flexing my muscles. Mozart instantly became my favorite composer and I knew that, one day, I had to sing this song!
Years passed by and I could still hear the song in my head … the amazing high notes that sounded more like a flute than a woman … the wild anger in her voice. Unfortunately, I’d never asked my music teacher what the name of the song was.
When I was about 12, I began voice lessons, hoping to sing opera one day. I told my teacher about the song and that it was written by Mozart. She immediately knew which one I meant. She said “That is the Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute” and when she played it for me I was overcome by the same powerful emotions. I was so excited to finally have a name to put to the song.
When I was about 16, I bought myself the CD of The Magic Flute (or Die Zauberflote – the opera is written in German) and listened to it over and over in the car, singing at the top of my lungs when I was by myself. Def Leppard could kiss my butt! I had Mozart!
I continued to sing through college, mostly in my car, some with choral groups, and very occasionally doing solos. I had no desire to sing in front of people, I just wanted to sing. Then, somehow, it just fell by the wayside. It seemed like there was always someone in my car or in my house (room mates, husband, kids… it’s not easy to sing opera quietly, so I just sort of stopped).
But, this week, Kaia and I were offered free tickets to see the Asheville Lyric Opera put on a performance of The Magic Flute and there was absolutely no way I was going to pass that up!! We got seats front and center and had the most wonderful time! The opera is actually much funnier than I’d realized. Kaia loved the costumes, the set, and of course the princess. For me, I held my breath for the moment I would hear the Queen of the Night, and she didn’t fail me.
So, I’m at it again. I have the Magic Flute CD in my car and I plan a long ride by myself today so that I can start practicing!!! One day, I will get up and sing it in front of an audience, even if it’s just an audience of two. And YES, there will be make-up, costume, and one awesome crown!
So, for your listening pleasure, turn your volume on high and enjoy a little Queen!
(In this song, she is telling her daughter to kill the wise man, Sarastro, so that she can be queen of his domain. She tells her daughter that she will be cast out and dead to her if she doesn’t do it. Yes, she is a mean ol’ queen, but MAN, she can sing!!!)