Der Hölle Rache kocht
Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen ("Hell's vengeance boils in my heart") is the second aria sung by the Queen of the Night in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte).
"Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen", commonly abbreviated "Der Hölle Rache", is often referred to as "The Queen of the Night Aria", despite the fact that the Queen of the Night character sings another distinguished aria earlier in the opera, "O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn". It is considered to be one of the most famous opera arias, highly memorable, fast paced and menacingly grandiose.
The aria forms part of the second act of the opera. It depicts a fit of vengeful rage, in which the Queen of the Night puts a knife into the hand of her daughter Pamina and exhorts her to assassinate Sarastro, the Queen's rival, on pain of denying and cursing Pamina if she does not comply.
The aria is written in D minor, and is scored for pairs of flutes, oboes, bassoons, horns, and trumpets, along with timpani and the string section. This is a larger orchestra than for "O zittre nicht" and comprises all the players from the opera as a whole, other than the trombones.
The aria is widely renowned for being a demanding piece to perform well. The aria's range is two octaves, from F4 to a stunning F6. The piece requires a high tessitura — even for sopranos. The artistic demands of the dramatic context, a vengeful demand for murder, put a heavy demand on even the well-qualified voice.
Hell's vengeance boils in my heart,
Death and despair flame about me!
If Sarastro does not, through you, feel the pain of death,
Then you will be my daughter nevermore.
Disowned be forever,
Forsaken be forever,
Destroyed be forever
All the bonds of nature
If you do not make Sarastro turn pale!
Hear, Gods of Vengeance, hear a mother's oath!
Metrically, the text consists of a quatrain in iambic pentameter (exceptional 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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