PAMINA is soft, gentle and lovely; the Queen of the Night is angular, cold and brilliant. Yet the German soprano Diana Damrau is to sing both of these roles, the female leads in Mozart’s “Zauberflöte,” at the Metropolitan Opera within two months.
It is not unheard of for a soprano to try both roles in the course of a career. Although the Queen of the Night is the mother and Pamina the daughter (the original Pamina, Anna Gottlieb, was only 17), singers today tend to reverse the chronology. They take on the Queen of the Night — a physically taxing part, with its high-flying cascades of notes carrying the voice to its uppermost reaches — when they are young and have more stamina. Some former queens take up Pamina, with its more mellifluous and sustained singing, as their voices ripen. Lucia Popp sang both parts at the Met, the Queen of the Night in 1967 and Pamina in 1981. Mary Dunleavy was the queen in 1998 and 2001, Pamina in 2006. READ MORE HERE
No one has ever sung both roles at the house in a single season. But Ms. Damrau is fearless.