I was introduced to Ach, Ich Fuhl’s at 10 am today, (you try singing Mozart at 10 in the morning), which is from Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (Magic Flute). It is sung by Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night. The male lead, Tamino, a handsome prince, falls in love with Pamina at first sight of her portrait. Pamina has been captured by an evil sorcerer, Sarastro. The Queen of the Night promises Pamina’s hand in marriage to Tamino if he rescues her. Does he? The aria is expressing Pamina’s despair when, at Scene 4, Pamina believes Tamino has abandoned her. Curiously, it is said that the plot for Flute is derived from Freemasonry.
The singer in the You Tube video above is Barbara Bonney. I first came across her voice when I was trying to learn Purcell’s Fairest Isle. She started out in her musical career as a cellist, switching to voice in her first year at university. Barbara makes Ach Ich Fuhl’s – a very difficult aria – seem effortless. She makes everything she sings seem effortless.
- Just in: Bregenz opera halted as three singers fall into lake (artsjournal.com)
- Italian opera summer school (piaharris.wordpress.com)