The Queen of the Night’s aria is among the most well-known and affecting pieces of music in opera history. It’s a high-water mark for Mozart’s compositional genius, a thrilling platform for a singer’s interpretative skills, and—setting aside music for a moment—just a truly mind-warping physical feat to witness a human being pulling off.
The aria’s “astonishingly high, Mariah Carey-level” top note (an F6 above top C if you’re scoring at home), is “reserved only for the most daring sopranos”, says Classic FM. Grammy Award-winning soprano Audrey Luna, who in 2017 hit the highest note ever sung on the Metropolitan Opera’s stage, definitely fits that description. The Queen is one of Luna’s signature roles, and her mastery of it puts her in the rarified company of Mozart’s sister-in-law Josepha Hofer (the original Queen of the Night) and German opera great, Diana Damrau. Everyone has their favourite passages and singers of Mozart’s final masterpiece, like this youtuber’s video that zones in on the staccato delivery of five Queens. Seeing passages like this in videos is impressive; the sheer viscerality of it live is almost a shock to the system. (The sort of thing that would make a person drop their phone, were they holding one!)
We’re beyond excited to hear what the preternaturally talented Audrey Luna brings to the QET stage Oct 21-29 in her hotly anticipated Vancouver Opera debut!