The Magic Flute quintet Act II





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Published on 5 Mar 2008

From the Bel Canto Opera production, the Three Ladies try to get Tamino and Papageno to break their vows of silence.

PAPAGENO: (to Tamino) Did you get the drift of that, Sir? If we fail the trials, we're for the chop.
TAMINO: The simple answer, my friend, is "don't fail".
LADIES: How? How? How?
Have you come within their sway?
Now! Now! Now!
You should quickly run away!
Stay, and you'll learn just what the price is...
You'll burn as human sacrifices.
PAPAGENO: Are we really going to die?
TAMINO: Papageno, don't reply
If you speak, you're in denial
Of the prescript of this trial
PAPAGENO: You heard the ladies say leave now.
TAMINO: Shush, you mustn't break your vow.
PAPAGENO: Keeping vows is difficult
When death by fire is the result
LADIES: The Queen is on her way to you
To tell you what you two must do
PAPAGENO: The Queen? She's coming here and now?
TAMINO: Just ignore them. That's your vow.
As you heard, your vow is broken
If a single word is spoken
LADIES: You need to heed our danger warning
You're victims of Sarastro's spell
If you're still here tomorrow morning
They'll roast you in the flames of hell
TAMINO: Now Papageno don't be weak
They want to try to make us speak.
LADIES: We warned you of the vile Sarastro
You've been seduced by pagan lore
What do you think these trials are for?
You'll be condemned forever more.
PAPAGENO: The ladies have a point, my friend,
These bloody Druids may intend to slit our throats
And sacrifice us
Just like goats.
TAMINO: They call Sarastro beastly names
To justify their specious claims.
PAPAGENO: The Queen is similarly inclined
TAMINO: She has a spiteful axe to grind
So King Sarastro gets maligned
Justice requires an open mind.
LADIES: Why are you so aloof and chilly
Refusing to converse is silly
PAPAGENO: If you weren't women.... then
PAPAGENO: I'd speak if you were men.
PAPAGENO: It's like the Spanish inquisition
Asking why and where and how
TAMINO: Remember we're in no position
To hold discourse with women now

LADIES: We've got nowhere. We've failed our mission
We cannot make them break their vow
They're getting nowhere with their mission
They cannot make us break our vow
ALL: This trial, designed to find the weak,
Trains men to think before they speak
CHORUS (OFF): These women in evil collusion
Will pay for their sinful intrusion.
LADIES: Away! Away! Away! Away!
PAPAGENO: And I might die today!

words © Tom Boyd

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