Mozart's "The Magic Flute" is widely regarded as one of history's most influential and important operas. And in TED-Ed's video, "The Secrets of Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'," teacher Joshua Borths investigates the intentional symbolism found in the opera, and the relationship between the opera and Freemasonry.
One of the symbolic elements of the opera that pops up repeatedly is the number three — a very important number in Freemasonry, representing order and balance. As Borths notes, there are three trials, three ladies, three spirits, and three doors. A large portion of the opera is written in E-flat major, which has a key signature of three flats. In addition, many Masonic rituals began with three knocks, and those are referenced in the opera by three powerful opening chords — root position E-flat major, root position C minor, and an inverted E-flat major.
Watch the TED-Ed video below to learn more about the connecting threads between Mozart, "The Magic Flute," and Freemasonry, and see the entire lesson on TED-Ed's website.