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Qwiz5 Quizbowl Essentials: The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute is a German singspiel opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . It tells the story of Prince Tamino who is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue the queen’s daughter, Pamina who is being held captive by the priest Sarastro. Ultimately Tamino and Pamina fall in love, realize that the Queen of the Night is evil, and aid Sarastro in defeating her.

Papageno, the bird catcher from "The Magic Flute". Part of the Qwiz5 series by Qwiz Quizbowl Camp, written to help quiz bowl teams power more tossups!

By analyzing questions, you can see patterns emerge - patterns that will help you answer more questions. Qwiz5 is all about those patterns. In each installment of Qwiz5, we take an answer line and look at its five most common clues. Here we explore five clues that will help you answer a tossup on "The Magic Flute"


Papageno is a bird-catcher who accompanies Tamino to free Pamina. He provides comic relief and is frequently portrayed as wearing a bird costume and/or a birdcage. Early in the opera, his mouth is padlocked as a punishment for lying. He spends most of the opera complaining about his lack of a love-life, but in the end he falls in love with his perfect match, Papagena.


Sarastro is a high priest of Isis and Osiris. He puts Tamino and Papageno through a series of trials of silence.


Monostatos is a servant of Sarastro. He lusts after Pamina and is revealed to be a traitor, aiding the Queen of the Night in her efforts to defeat Sarastro.


Der Hölle Rache and O Zittre Nicht are two arias sung by the Queen of the Night. They are considered to be two of the most difficult arias in all of opera, noted for their extremely high F notes.


Emanuel Schikaneder wrote the libretto for The Magic Flute. He was a close friend of Mozart's and played the role of Papageno at the opera’s premiere.


Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out:

* A synopsis of The Magic Flute from the Met Opera.

* Is the Queen of the Night really Maria Theresa? A discussion of hidden symbolism in The Magic Flute from TedEd.

* A three minute animated version of The Magic Flute:

* Watch the Queen of the Night perform Der Holle Rache, where she hits those high F notes as she tries to convince Pamina to kill Sarastro:


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