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Haunting Tale/Queen of the Night

Sculpture mixes childhood fantasies with Mozart opera

Difffent styles of art often merge, or portray each other. So a novel can become music. The verses of a poem can be represented in the brushstrokes of a painting, and vice versa. The sculpture Contos de Assombração, by artist Mazé Andrade, formats, in concrete, the drama of Princess Pamina, from the Opera The Magic Flute, by Wolfang Amadeus Mozart. Daughter of the Queen of the Night and a priest of Sarastro's Temple of Wisdom, Pamina symbolizes the sleeping consciousness, or counterpart, of Prince Tamino, the protagonist of the story. In the plot, he falls in love with an image of her and wants to marry her, while the Queen of the Night intends to keep her trapped, submerged in her kingdom of darkness, of ignorance. In love, Tamino undertakes a journey to rescue the princess from Sarastro, promising the Queen, after being deceived by her, to take her daughter at night, without understanding that it is a world dominated by the inferior instincts of Man. The link between Tamino and Pamina, after a fight with the Queen and her subjects, will represent the victory of light over darkness, the prince's realization of full consciousness and his turn towards the High in his evolutionary trajectory.

The sculpture expresses the attempted subjugation of Pamina by the Queen of the Night. The princess is on her knees, with the hair of both mother and daughter intertwining, without us knowing where one begins and the other ends. In the visual work, the Queen of the Night denotes her madness, just as she does in the famous Aria (the character's second) from Mozart's opera. But Pamina's light shines on the sculpture which, to represent hope and the inevitable victory of Wisdom, was painted gold.

In addition to being inspired by the famous aria, Mazé also wanted to represent the haunting tales commonly told in his childhood. "We lived in a rural area and, for fun, stories were invented. One of them was that there was something strange on a road. Something that ran and hung on the backs of whoever passed by", he recalls. Thus, once again, the erudite merges with the popular in Mazé's work.

For this video, copyright free music was used: Bach Cello Suite Number 1, G Major.

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