Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

After writing the above, I decided that I'd like to hear some of these operas I described--they're all ones I haven't heard. So I went to the library and checked some of them out. They are all on DVD from the 2004 and 2006 Salzburg Festspiele. I was a bit dumbfounded at the title of the collection, as listed in the library catalog: "M Mozart 22: the Complete Operas". So it hit me how many operas Mozart wrote! I'm beginning to wonder if everybody knew about Mozart and his group's hints about the number 22 except us (or at least me).

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

Lorredan wrote:An Interesting thread MikeH and Huck!
Here is a little trivia......
Pope Martin V (1417-1431) Kept Parrots at the Vatican- which was not unusual.
The Octaganal Courtyard built after the Popes came back from Avignon led to the Vatican Library and the Popes apartments back then, was called Cortile de Pappagallo or Courtyard of the Parrot and led to young priests/students been called Pappagallos, because they walked and repeated liturgy by rote. It had a double meaning- because gallo meant a cock and went on to be a term for Lovebirds or young men who recited poetry- I think a similiar thing would be called a Popinjay or colourful dandy after the German word for Parrot that Huck mentioned.
That's an interesting information about pope Martin, though it's doubtful, if the small Cortile might have been known by Mozart ... well, it's close to the Borgia appartment, and this, as MikeH addressed earlier, had Egyptian influence. Perhaps somebody knew this and by this also the Papagalli place.


Image ... ssapdf.pdf

Rome and Vatican likely had a lot of ruins, when Martin came. Most of that, what we see today, wasn't there.

Martin had birds, and Filippo Maria Visconti had birds as suits (and others also; in the early hunting decks birds were natural victims and hunters). Martins first activities in Italy was a visit to Filippo Maria Visconti.

I get these dates: Martin dissolved the council at 22th of April. He started to march to Rome at 16th of May.
After having confessed under torture was condemned to death and beheaded in the castle of Binasco, along with his alleged lover, September 13, 1418.
The plan was hatched, according to some, with the complicity of the noblewoman Agnese del Maino,
maid of honor Beatrice's lover and her husband Filippo. ... ndaing.htm

I didn't know, that Agnese del Maino was then already a factor. Well, the source is not really solid. But elsewhere I find nothing. Likely this an opera wisdom.
1418 23 agosto
La duchessa Beatrice viene accusata di adulterio con il musico Michele Orombello.

1418 13 settembre
Beatrice di Tenda viene decapitata nel castello di Binasco. Filippo Maria Visconti presenta all'imperatore Sigismondo la richiesta di poter legittimare come suo successore nel Ducato un figlio naturale.

1418 ottobre
Per concessione di Martino V, gli Osservanti di S. Angelo ottengono l'uso di un giardino vicino a S. Maria della Scala dove c'erano ancora rovine delle case dei Torriani. Poiché in quell'area non si poteva costruire, i frati da principio lo usano come luogo aperto e centrale dove radunare i fedeli per le loro predicazioni. In seguito (dal 1451) iniziano una serie di costruzioni (da principio abusive) che porteranno alla chiesa di S. Maria del Giardino.

1418 16 ottobre
Martino V consacra l'altare maggiore del Duomo. Il papa era giunto a Pavia il 5 ottobre e il 12 era entrato in Milano. Il 14 ottobre viene abbattuta l'abside di S. Maria Maggiore e viene predisposto il nuovo altare. Per ricordo, Iacopino da Tradate eseguirà nel 1424 la statua del papa oggi al museo del Duomo.

I get, that Martin stayed in Geneve for 3 months, which he left likely after 23 September. He reached Pavia at 5th of October and entered Milan at the 12th.

I don't get. when precisely Martin left Milan again ...

The painter Michelino da Besozzo likely was attracted by the pope visit to return to Milan. And the pope came, as if he had waited for the execution.

And Filippo Maria became an opera hero:
... 42 years after the Zauberflöte.


Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

Finally I found, when Martin V. left Milan:
The condition of the States of the Church undoubtedly demanded the return of the Pope, and Martin V acted prudently in resolving to make his way back to Italy and to his native city. Amidst the rejoicings of the people, he journeyed through Berne to Geneva. Here he heard of the disturbances which had broken out in Bohemia in consequence of the burning of Huss, and received the oath of allegiance of the Avignon Ambassadors. On the 7th September, 1418, it was determined to transfer the Papal Court to Mantua. On his way, Martin V tarried in Milan and consecrated the High Altar of the Cathedral. An inscription in the interior over the great portal, and a medallion of the Pope in the gallery of the choir, commemorate this circumstance.

The Pope remained in Mantua from the end of October, 1418, until the following February. The critical position of affairs in the States of the Church then compelled him to spend nearly two years in Florence. He lived in the Dominican Monastery of Santa Maria Novella, where the apartment prepared for him long bore the name of the Pope’s Hallt (Sala del Papa). Here Baldassare Cossa (John XXIII), having been at length released from his captivity, came humbly to throw himself at the feet of the Pope, showing more dignity in adversity than he had done in prosperity. Martin received him kindly, and appointed him Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum (June 23, 1419), but on the 22nd December, 1419, he died, so poor that there was hardly enough to pay the legacies he left! The costly monument erected to this unhappy man by Cosmo de Medici is still to be seen in the Baptistery at Florence. His recumbent statue rests on a sarcophagus beneath a canopy, and the short but pregnant inscription declares that “The body of Baldassare Cossa, John XXIII, once Pope, is buried here”. “This tomb”, a modern historian observes, “is the boundary mark of an important epoch in the life of nations, the monument of the great Schism and also the last grave of a Pope out of Rome”.

The better Martin V became acquainted with the condition of affairs in his native land, the more clearly did he perceive that nothing was to be accomplished by violence. Rome and Benevento were now in the hands of Queen Joanna of Naples. Bologna was an independent Republic, and other portions of the States of the Church had been usurped by individuals. The Pope had to deal with this hopeless situation by diplomatic measures. In the first place he succeeded in coming to an understanding with the Queen, to whom he promised the recognition of her rights and his consent to her coronation, which was performed by the Cardinal-Legate Morosini, on the 28th October, 1419; Joanna, on her part, bound herself to support the Pope in the recovery of the States of the Church, and to grant considerable fiefs in her kingdom to his brothers. In consequence of this agreement, Joanna, on the 6th March, 1419, ordered her General, Sforza Attendolo, to evacuate Rome. By the mediation of the Florentines, Martin V succeeded, in February, 1420, in coming to terms with the daring Condottiere, Braccio di Montone, who controlled half central Italy, and passed for one of the ablest military leaders of his day. Braccio, as Vicar of the Church, retained Perugia, Assisi, Todi, and Jesi, in consideration for which he gave up his other conquests, and in July, 1420, constrained the Bolognese to submit to the Pope. It was at length possible for Martin V to proceed to his capital; he left the city of Florence on the 8th September, 1420, reached Rome on the 28th, and made his solemn entrance into the Eternal City on the 30th. The people enthusiastically welcomed him as their deliverer. ... TIN-V.html

This means, he didn't stay long at Milanese territory, maybe less than a month.

3 months in Geneve
1 month in Milan
4 months in Mantova
about 18 months in Florence
then he reached Rome

His stay in Milan led to this commission: ... tin_5.html

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

I watched some of "La Finta Simplice" (Mozart age 12) and all of "Ascanio in Alba" (M age 15) on DVD. "Simplice" is indeed pure Commedia dell'Arte; the music is gorgeous and funny, but it's more a puppet show than an opera. I was hoping they would do up Fracasso like in the tarot card, but no, it was all modern dress.

"Asconia" is more interesting. The occasion was the marriage of the daughter of Ercole d'Este III Duke of Modena to the Governor-General of Lombardy, the third son of Empress Maria-Theresa. Their counterparts in the opera are Silvia, a wood nymph (descended from Hercules in the myth), and Ascanio, a son of Venus (grandson in the myth). The opening chorus is a hymn to Venus, in which the shepherds and shepherdesses say that with such sweet fetters they no longer yearn for freedom (they say the last words three times: "la liberta, la liberta, la liberta," as though an unconscious chant). To the goddess of love, that is a well-worn metaphor for the strings of love; directed at the Empress of Austria--who commissioned the opera--it is a clever bit of irony, both for the son (in a forced marriage) and the people of Lombardy. (I don't know if these lines were actually sung then, as the text had to pass the Austrian censor and some lines were removed. Mozart apparently kept the music; they just didn't sing anything during these bits.) To make sure you get the point, the Salzburg director had the shepherds and shepherdesses dressed in military-like uniforms and marching around like Nazis. (Also, the director had the recitatives spoken in German by two narrators, male and female, while the singers mimed the words and then sang in Italian. Very Brechtian.) Then Venus addresses her people. I was hoping to see her lowered down from the rafters in her chariot, as in the original, but no, she ascends a high scaffolding while the people stand at attention. (Another character, however, did get to be lowered from above, singing "his" aria (soprano) while going back and forth on a swing.) Meanwhile, the heroine lives in a fantasy-world of longing for her ideal lover. On those few occasions when she does descend to the reality of knowing she will marry someone chosen for her that she's never met, she just gets angry and sad, and retreats back into fantasy. (In fact the real-life bride and groom were not allowed to meet until the wedding, the program notes say.) She's never met her ideal, either, but suddenly on the day of the wedding there he is, a tourist who happens to be visiting this fertile land; she goes to him, despite his rather stupid and dazed demeanor, but he won't even talk to her. Needless to say, the visitor is Ascanio, ordered not to speak as a trial set by his mother. He passes the trial and they live zonkily (the spell-checker doesn't like that word: well, it comes from "zonked out") ever after. The people sing another hymn of praise to Venus, who has benefacted them by tearing down their houses ("huts") and building new modern "palaces with high walls". (For pictures, see ... ozart.html.)

The real-life groom was so enthusiastic he wanted to appoint Mozart as musical director in Milan; but "his mother wouldn't hear of it", one biographer says (I don't know whether he meant Maria-Theresa or Mrs. Mozart). One main reason I wanted to see the opera was for musical number 21, reputedly one of Mozart's most difficult, enough so that the singer in Milan had to have it abridged. Well, in Salzburg 2006 they left it out altogether. [Corrected later: it's there, but out of order. It's called "Dal tuo gentil sembiante" and can be seen and heard on U-tube. In the original the setting for the aria is not quite that absurd.] And I must correct myself. It was not for tenor, but for "male soprano", i.e. castrato, in 2006 played by a female soprano on a swing, not even in pants. Ascanio, however, is also a male soprano (in pants, of course). So both lovers sing soprano--although it seems to me that Ascanio's arias are somewhat lower in pitch than Silvia's. [Corrected later: my source, Mann's The Operas of Mozart was wrong, according to most other sources: Ascanio is a mezzo-soprano or alto.]

Added next day:
I forgot the conclusion to this summary. I see little relationship to the tarot in either of these operas. In "Ascanio" Venus resemblesthe Popess, Silvia the Empress and the young lady of the Lover, Silvia's guardian-priest the Pope, and Ascanio the young man in the Lover and the Charioteer, but that's about all. In "Simplice" we have Captain Fracasso sharing a common Commedia dell'Arte root with the Belgian card. These librettists perhaps were not tarocchi players.

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

Did you say this already ...
Role - Voice type - Premiere cast, 30 September 1791
(conductor: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Tamino - tenor - Benedikt Schack
Papageno - baritone - Emanuel Schikaneder
Pamina - soprano - Anna Gottlieb
The Queen of the Night - coloratura soprano - Josepha Hofer
Sarastro - bass - Franz Xaver Gerl
Three ladies - 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano Mlle Klöpfer, Mlle Hofmann, Mme Elisabeth[14] Schack
Monostatos - tenor - Johann Joseph Nouseul
Three boys - treble, alto, mezzo-soprano - Anna Schikaneder; Anselm Handelgruber; Franz Anton Maurer
Speaker of the temple - bass-baritone - Herr Winter
Three priests - tenor, 2 basses - Johann Michael Kistler, Urban Schikaneder, Herr Moll
Papagena - soprano - Barbara Gerl
Two armoured men tenor, bass Johann Michael Kistler, Herr Moll
Three slaves 2 tenors, bass Karl Ludwig Giesecke, Herr Frasel, Herr Starke
... I count 22 roles. 4x3 + 2 + 8

That's not so difficult to decipher ...

4x3 = 12 = Zodiac
2 + 1 speaker = 3 = 3 elements

and 3 pairs

Queen of night = Moon
Sarastro = Sun

Tamina = Venus
Pamino = Mars

Papageno = Mercury (somehow Pan)
Papagena = somehow NOT Jupiter (somehow Pan-dora) Pa- Pa - Pa ... Papagena

and one alone

Monostatos = Saturn

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

I didn't say that earlier, about the 22 parts in Zauberflote--not counting the chorus, of course, the 18 priests, etc. Nice. I didn't think of that at all.

I'm not sure about 3 elements. The Armored men sing of trials through earth, air, fire, and water. But "Sethos" only mentioned 3. It's not clear to me how many trials there are in the libretto. Only fire and water are actually named as such. But not heeding the voices of women might be one, abstaining from food and drink another. Pamina has the trial of not heeding her mother and I don't know what else, not giving into Monostatos's threats, I guess. Maybe it's deliberately unclear, due to differences among the sources.

I liked your assignment of planets. You might be interested to see the following quotes from a three part article about the opera in a Milan newspaper, by someone who said he saw it in "the suburbs of Vienna" in 1791. The occasion was the Milan premiere, April 15, 1815. It was anonymous; it brings up subjects that were probably dangerous to say in print, van den Berk thinks. The person must have had some inkling of the character of the work, to travel from Milan to Vienna in 1791; so he was probably a serious Mason. Here is one quotation that van den Berk gives (p. 4, referencing p. 145 of the article):
In scene two, a hunter by the name of Papageno enters. He is completely clad in feathers, carries a big birdcage and blows a syrinx with seven pipes. This is a depiction of Hermes while hunting; this is the volatile quicksilver of the philosophers, one time compared with a winged dragon, another time with birds, but usually with the eagle, the vulture and other birds of prey, since the quicksilver of the sacred art flies around tearing things apart in the expanse of space. This is the mercury that the alchemistic laborer pursues. The syrinx with its seven pipes refers to the seven prescribed sublimations, cleansings or purifications of the material. The cage represents the vase to which the catch of the hunt, being the quicksilver of the philosophers, is returned.
This is from a three part article referenced as follows by van Den Berk (p. 630):
"All'Autore dell'articolo sul Teatro della Scala inserito nel Corriere delle Dame no. xvi del 20 aprile 1816'. In: Corriere delle Dame, No. xviii, secondo Trimestre, Milana 4 Maggio, pp. 137-138. 'Continuazione dell'articolo sul Flauto magico rappresentato nel R. Teatro alla Scala'. In: Corriere delle Dame, no. xix. Secondo Trimestre, Milano 11 Maggio 1816, pp. 145-147. 'Continuazione e fine dell'articolo sul Flauto magico, rappresentato nel R. Teatro alle Scala'. In: Corriere delle Dame, No. xx. Secondo Trimestre, Milano 18 Maggio 1816, pp. 153-154.
So we have Papageno as Mercury. The shepherd's pipe associated with Pan was invented by Hermes, according to Pseudo-Apollodorus ( search "pipe").

About other characters, here is another quote (p. 527 of van den Berk, referencing p. 147 of the article:
Pamina is the Isis of the Egyptians, married to Osiris, who in this opera is prince Tamino. According to the myths of the Greeks, the one is Venus, the other Mars. Without this union you will not obtain the gold of the philosophers.
So Pamina is Venus, Tamino is Mars. Then in the last article, says van den Berk (p. 527, referencing p. 153 of the article):
...Sarastro is Hermes Trismegistos himself, Tamino 'is the symbol of the masculine prima materia', Pamina is the 'second matter', the Queen of the night is the 'heaven of the philosophers', Papageno is 'the mercury of the philosophers', Monostatos the symbol 'of corruption, putrefaction and the first color of the philosophic matter', Papagena, 'the old woman who transforms into a young one, is matter itself which, unified with mercury, sheds all deformations and ugliness'...
That is a lot of alchemical gobbledegook, but the analyses of Monostatos and Papagena are interesting. The stage of putrefaction, I think, is frequently identified as the Nigredo, which has the first of the colors, black, and whose symbols are lead and Saturn. Van den Berk himself analyzes Papagena as the feminine side of Mercury, saying that in alchemy Mercury was both masculine and feminine, true enough in the 17th and 18th centuries (e.g. That fits well with your breakdown of Mercury into Pan and Pandora.

And Sorastro is at least the high priest of the Sun, and thus identified with the Sun. The "Queen of the Night" would normally be thought to be its brightest heavenly body, the Moon. So yes, you are on good grounds here.

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

"3 elements" is the basic scheme of Sepher Yetzirah, when you deal with 22 letters. Fire and water are naturally "fighting", so they are "in armor" in the opera. Air has the function to balance the both others ... it's so "above them".
Actually it stands for the soul of it all, and so it gives a good "story teller in the background".

General one has to see, that they wrote a funny opera, and naturally they modified a few things according their fun intentions. And actually one shouldn't overlook, that 1791 had seen the French revolution short before. Papageno and Papagena alias Pan (means "all") and Pandora (means "gives all") alias Mercury and Super-Shakti are naturally also Adam and Eve, so they are the "people" and "everybody". "Peuple" became an often used word then.

The Austrian court likely saw the revolution with mixed feelings. The political intention of the Zauberflöte likely had been to find a middle way between Monarchic and "peuple" interests.

Likely we have to assume, that Mozart remembered well, that this was his 21st opera work.
1. 1767 Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots KV 35
2. 1767 Apollo et Hyacinthus KV 38
3. 1768 Bastien und Bastienne KV 50
4. 1768 La finta semplice KV 51
5. 1770 Mitridate, re di Ponto KV 87
6. 1771 Ascanio in Alba KV 111
7. 1771 Il sogno di Scipione KV 126
8. 1772 Lucio Silla KV 135
9. 1774 Thamos, König in Ägypten KV 345
10. 1775 La finta giardiniera/Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe KV 196
11. 1775 Il re pastore KV 208
12. 1780 Zaide (Fragment) KV 344
13. 1781 Idomeneo KV 366
14. 1782 Die Entführung aus dem Serail KV 384
15. 1783 L'oca del Cairo (Fragment) KV 422
16. 1783 Lo sposo deluso ossia La rivalità di tre donne per un solo amante (Fragment) KV 430
17. 1786 Der Schauspieldirektor KV 486
18. 1786 Le nozze di Figaro KV 492
19. 1787 Il dissoluto punito ossia il Don Giovanni KV 527
20. 1790 Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti KV 588
21. 1791 Die Zauberflöte KV 620
22. 1791 La clemenza di Tito KV 621

3 works are given as "fragment", but the problem of "Zaide" seems to be only, that the manuscript didn't survive. The 2 others (15. and 16.) were really broken of and never finished. Mozart became freemason then (1784) and had then the carnival idea with 14 proverbs and 8 riddles ... which is the first sign, that Mozart had something with the number "22".
If we don't count the not-finished 15th and 16 work, he had then 14 finished operas. 14 proverbs. Somehow it looks, as if Mozart considered a change in his life, and started a hopeful series of 8 new works in another spirit. "Riddles", now with a freemasonry background. But again it seems, that he didn't get full freedom and influence. :-). Maybe he realized, that 15 and 16 are unlucky cards in Tarock or Tarocchi. Perhaps he took these later as his first two riddles.
Under these conditions he knew or believed, that the Zauberflöte (where he contributed only parts) would have been his 21st work.
He made then 22nd work. It doesn't show too much of 22, at least I see in the moment not much of it.

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

This is the Finish of 2nd act:
A hall or room with two doors: one leading to a chamber of trial by water and the other to a cavern of fire.

Two men in armour (that seems to the scene of the "Two Men in armor") lead Tamino onstage. They recite, in unison, one of the formal creeds of the goddess Isis, promising enlightenment to those who successfully overcome the fear of death ("Der, welcher wandert diese Strasse voll Beschwerden"). This recitation takes the musical form of a Baroque chorale prelude, to the tune of Martin Luther's hymn Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein (Oh God, look down from heaven).[17] Tamino declares he is ready to be tested, but Pamina, offstage, calls for him to wait for her. The men in armour assure Tamino that the trial by silence is over and he is free to speak with her. She enters, and exchanges loving words with Tamino ("Tamino mein, o welch ein Glück!"). United in harmony, they enter the trial-caverns together. Protected by the music of the magic flute, they pass unscathed through fire and water. Offstage, the priests hail their triumph.

Papageno, having given up hope of winning Papagena, tries to hang himself (Aria/Quartet: "Papagena! Papagena! Papagena!"), but at the last minute the three child-spirits appear and remind him that he should use his magic bells to summon her, instead. Papagena reenters, and the happy couple is united, stuttering at first in astonishment (Duet: "Pa … pa … pa ...").[18]

The traitorous Monostatos appears with the Queen of the Night and her ladies, plotting to destroy the temple ("Nur stille, stille"), but they are magically cast out into eternal night.

The scene now changes to the entrance of the chief temple, where Sarastro bids the young lovers welcome and unites them. The final chorus sings the praises of Tamino and Pamina in enduring their trials and gives thanks to the gods.
I didn't know that passage, when I said, that the both present fire and water ... I just recognized the Sepher Yetzirah scheme, and concluded, that these both must be symbols for "fire and water".

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

Here is the "armoured men" song, in the original libretto (from The Authentic Magic Flute Libretto, pp. 250-251, unfortunately not in the online excerpts, but the German is the same at ... _flute.txt):
2 geharnischte Männer
Der welcher wandert diese Stresse voll Beschwerden,
Wird rein durch Feuer, Wasser, Luft und Erden.
Wenn er des Todes Schrecken überwinden kann,
Schwingt er sich aus der Erde Himmel=an!
Erleuchtet wird er dann im Stande seyn
Sich den Mysterien der Isis ganz zu weih'n.

(2 armed men
He who wanders this path full of hardships
Becomes pure through fire, water, air, and earth.
If he can overcome the terror of death,
He lifts himself from the earth heavenward.
Enlightened he will then be able
To devote himself completely to the mysteries of Isis.)
Yes, the Sefer Yetsira is a possible source. But I've seen no evidence that Mozart knew it, although many Masons certainly would have. He did know Sethos, which has the same three elements.

Technically, Magic Flute is Mozart's 22nd opera. He finished the overture after Clemenza di Tito had already premiered (the ink was still wet when it got to the musicians, the legend says). Many listings of the operas have Magic Flute as his last opera.

I thought of another possible planetary correspondence. The Moon and the Sun are a couple. So the Sun might be the Queen of the Night's dead husband. Then Sarastro, although devoted to the dead husband, could be Jupiter. That set of correspondences has the advantage that it uses all seven planets.

In the Besancon deck, of course, Jupiter appears in place of the Pope, both of whom would be my candidate in the tarot for Sarastro. The metal corresponding to Jupiter was not only tin, but also an amalgam of silver and gold. Thus also Sarastro embodies both Osiris and Isis, Sun and Moon, until Tamino and Pamina can take his place. Jupiter's castration of Saturn then corresponds to Sarastro's confinement of Monostatos under the earth at the end. (There was an alchemical equivalent of this. Conti, in his Mythologies of 1551, writes (Conti's Mythologies, ed. DiMatteo p. 81):
...because this "Jove" carries off with himself the "virile parts," that is, cuts off and separates the sulphur hidden within the salt, the residue being received into a vessel placed for the reception of it, he is said to have cut off the potency of Saturn. And since salt sinks down in water, "in the sea," Venus is said to be born from this compound of salt and sulphur.
Likewise we have Pamina's triumph at the end, having united with Tamino, her Mars = sulphur.

The Queen of the Night, correspondingly, has some Juno characteristics, namely, her antagonism toward Sarastro, similar to Juno's antagonism toward Jupiter. The Italian article's characterization of the Queen of the Night as "heaven of the philosophers" might fit Juno better than Luna, too: Juno was the upper part of the air, i.e. the ether. The Milky Way was said to be the milk from her breasts. She is rather sinister in alchemy (at least in the c. 1420 German manuscript of moralized Fulgentius that I examined in another thread; she is also in Conti's Mythologies, which says (p. 81):
She [Juno] is the Queen of the gods because she controls, dissolves, joins, separates, and constrains the metals, which are named after the various gods.
It seems to me that Mozart and his pals would have known about the Besancon and its Juno and Jupiter, and also about Juno in alchemy. The Besancon typically had a man and a woman on the Sun card, which fits the end of The Magic Flute. All I've read is that it was used in the southeastern part of Bavaria. Also, if they read de Mellet (given that Mozart once stayed with an original subscriber to de Gebelin's series), they would have known about Jupiter and Juno from him, because the deck he refers to is a Besancon. I wonder what deck they actually would have used in Vienna and Salzburg.

I listened to Philosopher's Stone (Stein der Weisen) on CD last night, also written by Shickaneder a year earlier than Flute. Not only are the story and most of the characters similar to Flute, but the music of Flute is in many instances a rewritten, improved version of Stone's. There is a 3rd disc in the album in which a musicologist illustrates the parallels. The simplest example: the magic bird in Stone, represented musically by a flute, becomes the magic flute in Flute, playing a similar tune. As I've mentioned, Stone has 22 musical sections, if you count the overtures to both acts (using the section numbers provided by David Buch, Stein der Weisen, p. xxxviii and p. lvii).

Re: Mozart, Tarot, Isis, and Ercole d'Este

mikeh wrote: Yes, the Sefer Yetsira is a possible source. But I've seen no evidence that Mozart knew it, although many Masons certainly would have. He did know Sethos, which has the same three elements.
It isn't necessary, that somebody knew the Sefer Yetzirah at all. The structure of Sepher Yetzirah was occasionally used in other literature without reference to the Sepher Yetzirah. The Opera makers might have gotten it from "somewhere".
Technically, Magic Flute is Mozart's 22nd opera. He finished the overture after Clemenza di Tito had already premiered (the ink was still wet when it got to the musicians, the legend says). Many listings of the operas have Magic Flute as his last opera.
It seems to be not a clear point. I think, that German opinions tend to give it as 21st.

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