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Role of Pamina in W.A. Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte Bickersteth, Neema


Prince Tamino is fleeing from a dragon and faints in terror. The dragon is then killed by the Three Ladies, attendants of the Queen of the Night. When Tamino awakes, the Three Ladies have disappeared. The sound of panpipes announces the arrival of the bird catcher Papageno. He claims that it was he who killed the dragon. The Three Ladies reappear, padlock Papageno's mouth as punishment for lying, and present Tamino with a portrait of the Queen's daughter, Pamina. Tamino falls instantly in love with her. The Queen herself appears and urges Tamino to rescue her daughter from the wicked Sarastro, who is holding her captive. The reluctant Papageno is ordered to accompany Tamino. The Three Ladies give Tamino a magic flute and Papageno a chime of magic bells to guard them against dangers. The Three Spirits will guide and protect them. In Sarastro's palace, Pamina has failed in an attempt to escape. Monostatos, a servant of Sarastro, has recaptured her. Papageno has found his way into the palace, where he comes face to face with Monostatos. Equally terrified by the sight of one another, they flee. Papageno returns, recognizes Pamina and tells her that Tamino has been sent to rescue her. The Three Spirits lead Tamino into the temple, where he learns from the Speaker that Sarastro is no tyrant, as the Queen had maintained, but a man of wisdom. Voices from the temple reassure Tamino that Pamina is alive. In joyful anticipation, Tamino plays on his magic flute. Wild beasts arrive. Papageno and Pamina hear the flute and set off to find Tamino. Monastatos and his slaves try to recapture the fleeing pair, but Papageno remembers his magic bells and their captors dance harmlessly away. A fanfare announces the arrival of Sarastro. Pamina confesses to him that she was running away from Monostatos, to which Sarastro replies that the only reason he is holding her captive is to keep her from her mother's malign influence. Tamino is brought in as a captive by Monostatos. Pamina and Tamino recognise and embrace each other. Monostatos demands that they be punished, but Sarastro sends them away to be purified before undergoing trials of initiation, and Monostatos is punished in their place. Act Two Sarastro announces to the assembled priests that Tamino wishes admission to their order. The gods have decreed that Pamina and Tamino are destined for each other, but first they must undergo trials. Two priests impose a vow of silence on Tamino and Papageno. The Three Ladies appear and try to lure them back to the Queen. Tamino and Papageno resist and the Ladies are banished by voices from within the temple. In Sarastro's palace, Monostatos finds Pamina sleeping and desires to kiss her. The Queen of the Night arrives. She gives Pamina a knife and orders her to kill Sarastro. Swearing vengence, the Queen disappears. Monostatos has overheard everything and offers to carry out the deed himself if Pamina repays him with her love. When she rejects Monostatos, he tries to kill her. Sarastro intervenes and comforts Pamina. The ordeals continue. Papageno is confronted by an old woman who claims that she is his beloved, much to Papageno's amusement. She disappears and the Three Spirits arrive, returning the magic flute and bells to Tamino and Papageno, as well as bringing them food and drink. Tamino plays on the flute, which is heard by Pamina, who rushes in joyously. Remembering his vow of silence, Tamino refuses to speak to her. Pamina misinterprets Tamino's silence, falls into despair and prepares to take her own life. Sarastro sends Tamino away to procede with his initiation. He and Pamina are commanded to bid each other a last farewell. Grief-stricken, Pamina tries to kill herself. The Three Spirits appear and reassure her that Tamino's love is true. A priest informs Papageno that he has been denied intiation. Papageno, content to drink and be merry, expresses no regret. He receives another visit from the old woman and, under threat of imprisonment, agrees to be faithful to her. At that moment she reveals herself to be Papagena: the woman of his dreams. Unfortunately, she is hurried away by a priest before Papageno can embrace her. Two armed guards stand at the entrance to the trials. Tamino is at last joined by Pamina. She takes his hand, tells him to play the flute, and leads him through the gates. Protected by the magic flute, they pass safely through the trials of fire and water. Papageno, lamenting the loss of Papagena, is about to hang himself. The Three Spirits interrupt him and tell him that he can summon his beloved with his magic bells. Papagena reappears. Monastatos has joined the Queen of the Night and the Three Ladies in a final attempt to undermine Sarastro. Their power, however, is broken and thunder and lightning hurl them into darkness. Tamino and Pamina are welcomed into the Temple of the Sun, and the forces of good celebrate their triumph, while Papageno and Papagena experience the joys of family life.

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