Mozart's Singspiel 'The Magic Flute' is regarded as one of the greatest operas of the entire repertoire. What makes it a great work of art is Mozart's unique ability to translate his humanistic ideals into music of extraordinary beauty and suggestiveness. The original libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder and Carl Ludwig Giesecle was a tale about good and evil, in which Sarastro, the high priest of an enlightened brotherhood, abducts Pamina, whose mother is the evil Queen of the Night. The Queen sends Prince Tamino to save Pamina. Tamino not only falls in love with Pamina, but also accepts Sarastro as the incarnation of truth and goodness. Tamino's counterpart is Papageno, the Queen's bird-catcher, whose earthiness counterbalances Tamino's idealism. Predictably, because of the Magic Flute and Papageno's bells, love and goodness triumph, Sarastro overcomes the Queen of the Night, Tamino and Pamina are united after many trials, and Papageno finds Papagena, a female version of himself - the principal theme of the whole opera being love.
This is the Schirmer Edition of the Vocal Score in the original German with an English translation by Ruth and Thomas Martin.