16 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Hell’s Revenge


In the concert scene of my new novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA, the dead composer’s sister-in-law sings “Der Hölle Rache” (“Hell’s revenge”), an aria from the opera The Magic Flute. It’s a particularly difficult piece to sing and, as my main character Nannerl, Wolfgang’s sister, observes, its high tessitura turns the soprano’s voice into something more like a wind instrument. The aria itself starts at 2.11 in this clip, after some initial dialogue between the Queen of the Night and her daughter. The Queen declares that “Hell’s revenge boils in my heart” and threatens to disown her daughter. The Queen is sung by Diana Damrau, an astonishing coloratura soprano from Bavaria. Listen to more of Mozart’s music as featured in MOZART’S LAST ARIA. Watch videos about the book.

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