Der Hölle Rache - Queen of the Night / Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

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"Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" ("Hell's vengeance boils in my heart"), commonly abbreviated "Der Hölle Rache", is an aria sung by the Queen of the Night, a coloratura soprano part, in the second act of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte). It depicts a fit of vengeful rage in which the Queen of the Night places a knife into the hand of her daughter Pamina and exhorts her to assassinate Sarastro, the Queen's rival, else she will disown and curse Pamina.

Memorable, fast-paced, and menacingly grandiose, "Der Hölle Rache" is one of the most famous of all opera arias. This rage aria is often referred to as the Queen of the Night Aria.

 

The German libretto of The Magic Flute was written by Emanuel Schikaneder, who also led the theatre troupe that premiered the work and created the role of Papageno.

Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,
Tod und Verzweiflung flammet um mich her!
Fühlt nicht durch dich Sarastro Todesschmerzen,
So bist du meine Tochter nimmermehr:
Verstossen sei auf ewig,
Verlassen sei auf ewig,
Zertrümmert sei'n auf ewig
Alle Bande der Natur.

Wenn nicht durch dich Sarastro wird erblassen!
Hört, Rachegötter, hört der Mutter Schwur!

Hell's vengeance boils in my heart,
Death and despair blaze about me!
If Sarastro does not through you feel the pains of death,
Then you will be, no!, my daughter nevermore:
Disowned be you forever,
Abandoned be you forever,
Destroyed be forever
All the bonds of nature.

If not through you Sarastro will turn pale!
Hear, gods of revenge, hear the mother's oath!

Metrically, the text consists of a quatrain in iambic pentameter (unusual for this opera which is mostly in iambic tetrameter), followed by a quatrain in iambic trimeter, then a final pentameter couplet. The rhyme scheme is [ABAB][CCCD][ED].  

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