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Size: 32" x 30"
Sarastro: Priest of the Isis Temple. Controller of rules, order, and destinies. Mythmaker. He stands at the temple door, arms extended to the door's edges, ready to embrace those who are welcome and keep out the unwanted. At first he's an evil magician, kidnapper of an innocent girl whom he turns over to the lusty Moor Monostatos to do with her as he sees fit. Then, suddenly, he's the wise and helpful priest of a somewhat secular religion based on Freemasonry, imposing initiation rituals that are supposed to be illuminating and to help his hostage and her rescuer find true love. Opera is like that. The music can make anything happen.

Around the door, a series of carved stones tell the story he so much helped to create. Clockwise from bottom left: (1) the Three Ladies killing the Serpent which is threatening Tamino, (2) Papageno's mouth padlocked for lying to Tamino about who killed the Serpent, (3) the Queen of the Night expressing her rage against Sarastro who has taken her daughter Pamina away, (4) Tamino and his magic flute with Papageno and his bells, marching toward the temple door in search of Pamina, (5) Papageno rescuing Pamina from Monostatos, (6) the Queen of the Night giving Pamina a dagger to kill Sarastro, (7) the Three Genii cheering up Papageno with the promise of Papagena, (8) the three gates through which the lovers need to pass as a trial of their love, (9) Papageno and Papagena surrounded by all their little papagenos, and (10) Tamino and Pamina at rest, united forever. —P.C.