My Favourite Songs – Der Hölle Rache – Mozart

Hell’s vengeance boils in my heart. You’d have to go a long way to find a better opening line to a song.

It’s a pity that opera holds itself so aloof. It’s entertainment, it’s mostly thin on storyline and the acting is ham, at best, so it might as well be pop. In it’s day it was pop music, deliberately silly so that it would appeal to the masses. It also has incredible darkness and some of the epics would do well in a graphic novel.

As for this song, it remains one of my favourite arie, even if the overall opera has little appeal for me.

My favourite version is the studio version, sung by Christina Deutekom. There are moments when her voice transcends and becomes one with the violins and at extreme volume listening becomes voodoo. Trust me on this and try it.


Here are the lyrics along with a handy translation, if you want to sing along. 🙂


Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,
Tod und Verzweiflung flammet um mich her!
fühlt nicht durch dich Sarastro Todesschmerzen,
so bist du meine Tochter nimmermehr.


Verstoßen sei auf ewig,
verlassen sei auf ewig,
zertrümmert sei’n auf ewig
alle Bande der Natur
wenn nicht durch dich Sarastro wird erblassen!
Hört, Rachegötter, hört der Mutter Schwur!

Hell’s vengeance boils in my heart;
Death and despair blaze around me!
If Sarastro does not feel the pain of death because of you,
Then you will be my daughter nevermore.


Disowned be forever,
Forsaken be forever,
Shattered be forever
All the bonds of nature
If Sarastro does not turn pale [in death] because of you!
Hear, gods of vengeance, hear the mother’s oath!

PS – yes, it was a bad day, so the song, aside from being a favourite, is also apt. See, I feel better already.

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