Prince Tamino is Egyptian! So Opera Frontier decided to infuse a scene from Mozart’s Magic Flute with elements from Middle Eastern traditions. We chose this Mozart trio in which the Three Ladies vie with each other for time alone with the handsome prince, knowing that they will eventually relinquish him to their mistress—the powerful Queen of the Night. Rising star Ali Paris accompanies our scene as the Prince playing his qanun—a rare 76-string 14th century zither. Enjoy Ali’s improvisation on a Queen of the Night theme, which features his unique fusion of Middle Eastern and Western music. Our Queen (scholar, dancer and musician Samrah azZuhur Arabi aka Sherifa Zuhur) animates the scene as an enchantress performing a dance based on the taqasim, a traditional Arabic form of improvisation on the maqamat—or musical modes—as well as on improvisation in raqs sharqi (oriental dance) and percussion.
Preview of Arabian Magic Mozart