Uri Golomb.
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Women & Freemasonry in Mozart Era

Misogyny and Chauvinism appear as drama elements in Così fan tutte and The Magic Flute. In this paper the author will study and discuss both elements in The Magic Flute. The position of Pamina in the opera. On musicologist Susan McClary and her book Feminine Endings. The Magic Flute as apologetic work against the feared suppression of the Freemasonry Lodges, due to the French Revolution [anyhow, it really occured in 1795 by royal decree]. Freemasons did not admit women in their Order, but in 18th century allowed separate female lodges of adoption. Still today it is not possible to determine, if such female lodges actually existed in Mozart Vienna. On historian Margaret Jacob and her book Living the Enlightenment. Against the radical feminist positions of McClary and Jacob, the eminent musicologist H. C. Robbins-Landon had already offered a suitable answer: the opera represents Mozart's wish to reform the Order by asking that women be included in its membership and this is the meaning of the final part of the Opera, Pamina facing the final trials with Tamino, i.e. gender equality through Enlightenment (Julian Rushton in New Grove Opera). On Mozart 7 May 1783 Letter: in opera Mozart wants more serious women characters, upon whom to build some interesting drama, and this also in a comic opera (according to Mozart, the 3 main female characters should be 1 seria, 1 mezzo-carattere, 1 buffa). So Così fan tutte rather shows misanthropy than misogyny. On Jacques Chailley's masonic exegesis of The Magic Flute and his book The Magic Flute, A Masonic Opera. Schikaneder and Mozart were both masons, but Schikaneder was dismissed from the Order in 1788 and likely never joined any Vienna lodge. Other masons may have added parts to the libretto, like Ignaz von Born, himself probably a model for Sarastro, and Karl Ludwig Gieseke. So the revolutionary position of equality of Pamina in the opera should be originated directly from Mozart. On Sethos by Jean Terrason (1731), a model for the Egyptian masonic trials. Analysis of the characters of Tamino and Pamina through the Escapes moments and the Initiation trials (Fire, Water, Air and Earth). The real dramatic intensity of the character of Pamina. Thanks to a subtle analysis of the character of Sarastro, we can discover how many revolutionary elements Mozart introduced into his opera: the initiation of Pamina into the Order, initiation well accepted by the 2 Men in Armour, seems to contradict the strict position of Sarastro about the role of women in the society. In conclusion, Mozart regarded the Masons' anti-feminine stance as unfair and irrational: the solution is the redemptive power of love, a love that redeems men and women alike. Mozart so perceived their union as more equal than most of his Brethren thought in 18th century and used the character of Pamina to demonstrate this, even by assigning a less heroic profile to Tamino himself in a sort of provocative way.
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Feminism, Chauvinism and Masonic Allegory:
The Role of Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute

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