Where an Augenblick Is More Than a Moment

What soprano Samantha Britt finds impressive in Salzburg and Berlin


Samantha Britt at Chelsea Opera. Photo: Robert J. Saferstein

Recently, this blog has started to publish a series of profiles of young American, Canadian, and British singers who went to Germany to sing and live. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to move to a foreign place, mainly to Berlin, and pursue the career of their dreams.

Your name:
Samantha Britt

Where are you from?
New York

What is your Fach?
Lyric-coloratura soprano

Since when in Berlin?
My first trip was in 2014

When are you going to go/move to Berlin?

Your favorite role:
It’s hard to choose one! Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor

Best opera production you saw in Germany:
Ariadne auf Naxos at Stuttgart Oper 2014

Craziest opera production you saw in Germany:
It wasn’t in Germany, but in Salzburg, Austria, in 2006, I saw a Don Giovanni which had a rotating stage. During Leporello’s catalogue aria the stage displayed a carousel of examples of Don G’s conquests which included naked women shaving their legs and a girl in a frilly dress around age 8 playing jumprope. Pretty shocking.


Your hero in opera:
Diana Damrau and Maria Callas

Your hero in real life:
My Grandmother, the family’s Scrabble champion, who instilled in me a love of words!

Two things you like about Berlin:
Food Halls and Festivals, always-interesting Graffiti

Two things you don’t like about Berlin:
Grey skies and the lack of public water fountains

A story in which you were glad that you spoke German:
In general, when I want to do a yoga class and the only one available is in German, I’m very glad I know my “rechtes Bein” from my “linkes Bein”.

A story in which you made an embarrassing mistake in German (if you want to tell):
I can only think of the times when I accidentally said sexual slang while speaking “Denglish”! Otherwise Germans have been forgiving and helped me through my grammatical errors.

Your most recent performance:
Soprano solos in Carmina Burana with Camerata Orchestra NYC

Your next project, performance, and where:
Sister Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Sakrale Oper Berlin

Your favorite German word:
(Also hard to choose!) Augenblick, it’s so much more descriptive than “moment”

Find more information about Samantha Britt at

Listen to audio of her singing at Soundcloud:



“Ich komme. Haben Sie Zeit?”


Come to the second workshop of the series German for Opera Singers

Topic: “Ich komme. Haben Sie Zeit?”

Goal: Practice to write an e-mail request for a Vorsingen to an agency or opera house and put together a Lebenslauf in German.

Location: Prachtwerk Cafe, Ganghoferstraße 2, Berlin-Neukölln, conference room

Date: Thursday, November 3rd
7 pm – 9 pm

What you can do: Bring your CV, cover letter, e-mail drafts etc.

The teacher: Bernd Hendricks, German Language Consultant and author of the book
“Ach ich fühl’s -German for
Opera Singers in Three Acts:
Studying, Speaking, Singing”

Get a taste of my teaching style with my video.

Price: The workshop is free. A review of the workshop by the participants in social media, their blogs and the blog “Ach ich fühl’s – German for Opera Singers” would be appreciated. The workshop will be documented with photos, in a video or/and with an article for blogs and other publications.

Register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/351633001849660/

Subscribe to the newsletter “German for Opera Singers” with blog updates and event announcements.




A Gamble That Paid Off


How two American sopranos founded the Berlin Opera Group and made a splash with their first opera production.

It took a few months after Lyric Coloratura Soprano Atalia Malin and Dramatic Soprano Kelsey Boesche arrived in Berlin to stage a full-blown opera production. In this interview the two Californians talk about their Berlin Opera Group of singers and musicians from around the world, the challenges of the German language, and producing an opera in a foreign city where they knew little of traditions, mentality, and the taste of the local audience.


Kelsey Boesche as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Figaro. Photo: Paul Lear

AIF: You put together an ambitious opera production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, having lived in Berlin just a few months. How did it start?

Atalia: It started in a living room in the Berlin neighborhood of Schöneberg after we came back from one of the many auditions, but it did not start with the grand plan to produce and perform the opera in a theater. We wanted to perform and get roles on our resume, and therefore we thought renting a church, hiring a pianist and giving a little concert would be a nice beginning. We posted our plans on the crowdfunding sites Indiegogo and Kickstarter and ended up raising much more money than we had anticipated. It turned out that in Berlin other venues like small theaters are not that much more expensive than a church. We found the Ehemaliges Stummfilmkino Delphi where our colleagues of Opera on Tap had presented “Les Contes de Hoffmann” just a few weeks earlier. We said, “Let’s go for it”, for a real production with a cast, costumes and an orchestra.


Atalia Malin as Susanna. Photo: Paul Lear

AIF: What were the challenges?

Kelsey: The first challenge was putting together a cast. I had only been in Berlin for five months and I did not know a lot of singers. However, we were able to assemble an international and a fantastic cast through colleagues we met at concerts and through word of mouth. In Berlin you have tremendous opportunities for collaborations with fellow artists.

Atalia: After we announced our intentions on the crowdfunding sites, a conductor offered us help, not financially, but with his talent. He also helped to bring together an orchestra. We planned only one performance, but added a second due to the huge interest we created. Each night around 80 people showed up.

AIF: And how did the audience react?

Kelsey: As the director, I was a bit apprehensive about doing a comedy as our first opera. I hoped that what I found funny, would also be funny to German audiences. I knew that I wanted to modernize both the production and the characters. I wanted to show people how funny the opera can be, but still have “real” characters with real emotions who are trying to deal with a very complicated situation. Fortunately, my gamble paid off and many people came up to me afterwards and said that it was one of the best productions of Le Nozze di Figaro they had ever seen.

AIF: Why did you choose Berlin as the place to pursue a singing career?

Atalia: I have been in Germany for three years, two and a half of them in the southwest of the country, in the states of Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland. Berlin, however, is the place where every singer from the United States, in fact from around the world arrives, either stays or moves on to other cities. That’s why the atmosphere in Berlin is so lively, constructive, and creative.

Kelsey: Germany has more operatic performance opportunities than any other country. I had planned to move here for some time and I decided on Berlin because I knew it is a city of much culture and history. I am really glad that I made this choice.

AIF: Where and how did you learn German?

Kelsey: I learned German when I was in graduate school at Northwestern University. I knew that I would want to move to Germany someday. So, I took German in school and then later in language programs in my hometown of Los Angeles.

Atalia: Before I moved to Germany, I took German lessons at the University of Redlands. It gave me a foundation but it is a difference if you learn a language far away from the country where it is spoken.

AIF: Why?

Atalia: Here, people speak faster and more natural than in a classroom of a university in America. I stayed where my husband studied, in Rheinland-Pfalz where they speak with a dialect. In the beginning, I had a hard time. I felt forced to be an introvert. I went to parties where people spoke German. I was able to follow, but once I composed in my mind a comment or an answer to a question the conversation had moved on, and I had no choice but to stand by quietly. Today, I understand more. I just sang Papagena at Opera Classica Europa in Frankfurt. After the shows my colleagues and I would go to a restaurant or a bar and I was able to participate in the conversation. They were very helpful and patient.

Kelsey: I think that my German is good enough that I can be understood and I can understand other people. The biggest problem I’ve had is when I receive a complicated e-mail with specific details. Luckily, we live in the age of “google translate” so there are ways around that particular problem.

AIF: What are the challenges in learning a role in German opera?

Kelsey: I think learning a new role no matter what the language is always a challenge. The only German opera I have sung in has been Die Zauberflöte, twice as First Lady, once as Pamina and once as Papagena. However, in recitals, I sing a lot of German arias, particularly Wagner and Strauss, and I absolutely adore the music. For me the biggest challenge with German repertoire is the pacing. The music is so beautiful that you want to sing at your fullest the entire time, but if you do that you will “run out of gas” so to speak. But, once you have found all the spots in which to grow your sound and those where you are tender, it is so rewarding.

Atalia: I actually really like singing in German. Because I live here and am more familiar with the language, it is easier for me to learn a new song or aria if it is in German. Vocally however, it is most challenging to find a way to keep a legato line and simultaneously sing a harsh German consonant clearly.

AIF: What will be next for your opera company?


Atalia: We call ourselves a group rather than a company. We are more like an opera band with singers and musicians from around the world as well as from Germany. We come together for a project and stay together when we decide to do a new one. Our next production will be La Boheme this October at the Brotfabrik theater in the Berlin borough of Prenzlauer Berg. This time we booked the theater for three shows, for October 13th, 14th and 15th.


Lyric Coloratura Soprano Atalia Malin graduated from the University of Redlands in 2013 with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Her opera roles include The Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica), Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte), Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) and now Musetta (La Boheme).

More information at www.ataliamalinsoprano.com .

Dramatic Soprano Kelsey Boesche most recently performed the title role in Suor Angelica with Main Street Opera in Chicago. Internationally, Kelsey was a member of the International Lyric Academy’s Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy, for three years. There she played Mimi in La Bohème, Adina in L’elisir d’amore and The First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Kelsey received her Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Denver.

More information at www.kelseyboesche.com .

More information about the Berlin Opera Group and the upcoming performance of La Boheme at http://www.theberlinoperagroup.com

Watch Atalia’s pitch for support of the Berlin Opera Group’s production of La Boheme.

Everyone Needs an Old Man in Rügen

Soprano Danielle Musick’s journeys into the German language

Last week this blog has started to publish a series of profiles of young American, Canadian, and British singers who went to Germany to sing and live. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to move to a foreign place, mainly to Berlin, and pursue the career of their dreams.


Foto: Rick Stockwell

Your name:
Danielle Musick

From where?
The US. I grew up in Kansas and also lived in New York for a while.

Your Fach?

Since when in Berlin?
For two years (since 2014)

Your favorite role:
It’s hard to pick one! Susanna in Figaro is probably my favorite.

Best opera production you saw in Germany:
Die Zauberflöte at the Komische Oper Berlin and a dress rehearsal of Macbeth at the Staastoper Berlin.

Craziest opera production you saw in Germany:
hmmm, I don’t think I’ve seen anything that was really crazy. At least not in person!

Your hero in opera:
There are so many singers I admire. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Rene Pape, Renee Fleming, Bryn Terfel, Christa Ludwig, Anna Prohaska, Thomas Quasthoff. There are many others.

Your hero in real life:
My mom.

Two things you like about Berlin:
The transportation system is great and the city is very open-minded and tolerant. It’s also very dog friendly.

Two things you don’t like about Berlin:
Stores not being open on Sundays and all of the smokers.


Foto: Rick Stockwell

A story in which you were glad that you spoke German:
I’m still working on German and I think I will be working for a while. But earlier this year, I was in Rügen, walking along the beach. It was around Easter and cold. An older man asked me a question about my dog. He realized almost immediately that I wasn’t German and then asked where I was from. We had a nice and long conversation about his life (he was celebrating his wedding anniversary) and mine and just had a really nice talk together. I didn’t understand everything he said, but he was patient and repeated things for me. I felt really capable and knew that learning German wasn’t as impossible as it had felt up to that point.

A story in which you made an embarrassing mistake in German (if you want to tell):
I was at an audition recently and the agent was speaking only German to me. I had a general understanding of what he was saying, but the specifics were beyond me. I was so frustrated with myself, but it’s motivated me to work harder. (I do want to point out that I had studied German before coming here and had completed level B1. But studying in a classroom and using German in real life are not the same thing).

Your most recent performance:
A recital earlier this year. I did a program of mostly Schubert songs and I also sang some American songs.

Your next project:
Sometime this fall I’ll be doing another recital. My accompanist and I are still working on the repertoire, but it will probably be an all-German program.

Your favorite quality in a singer:
Uniqueness and fearlessness. It’s easy to have a beautiful voice. But I like singers with interesting voices. I also really like working with singers who learn their music inside and out.

Your favorite quality in a dog that travels with a singer:
A willingness to travel in a bag. I say that jokingly and seriously at the same time. I’m very lucky because my dog is a patient traveler, good-natured, doesn’t mind my practicing, and is at home as long as we’re together.

Your favorite German word:
Dichterfürst, because I think prince of poets is a lovely phrase and beautiful way to say poet laureate.

Find more information about Danielle Musick at

Listen to audio of Danielle Musick’s singing at Soundcloud:




Attacking My First Audition Season

Bravery and other excitements of Sidney Walker

In the coming weeks, this blog will publish a series of profiles of young American, Canadian, and British singers who went to Germany to sing and live. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to move to a foreign place, mainly to Berlin, and pursue the career of their dreams.

Your name:
Sidney Walker

From where:
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Your Fach:
Lyric Mezzo Soprano


Photo Credit: Les Koob. From a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”


Since when in Berlin:
March, 2016

Your favorite role:
Strauss’s Octavian from Der Rosenkavalier.

What do you think of Regietheater?
Illuminating when successful.

Best opera production you saw in Germany:
Elektra, Hamburg Staatsoper 2015

Craziest opera production you saw in Germany:
I have yet to witness first hand one of the famous, off the wall productions Germany is known for, but I already see a number of provocative upcoming productions that are sure to satisfy. I am beyond excited to experience my first full Opera season in Germany!

Your hero in opera:
Anne Sofie Von Otter

Your hero in real life:
My grandmother, Olene Walker, who was the first woman Governor of Utah. She proved, every day, that it’s never too late to pursue new and ambitious paths in life.


Photo Credit: Dani Werner

Two things you like about Berlin:
The diverse neighborhood, the arts scene

Two things you don’t like about Berlin:
Too many people speak English, so it’s difficult to practice mein Deutsch; there are so many exciting opportunities that there is no way to experience it all!

Your most recent performance:
As One, as Hannah with International Opera Projects here in Berlin.

Your next project, performance, and where:
At the moment, I’m attacking my first full audition season in Germany, but there are some exciting things in the works!

Your favorite quality in a singer:

Your favorite German word:

Find more information including audio about Sidney Walker at http://www.sidneywalkermezzo.com

Watch a video with Sidney Walker:


* The compound noun Kummerspeck consists of der Kummer (sorrow, grief, heartbreak) and der Speck (bacon, flab). If you suffer heartbreak or other kind of sorrow, you might eat more than usual, chocolate maybe or cake or pints of ice cream while watching tv or staring out of the window. The inevitable result around your hips will be Kummerspeck. (Comment: Bernd Hendricks)


Free Class: What an Aria Text Reveals


REGISTER AT  https://www.facebook.com/events/799085343562440/

If you are in Berlin and want to brush up your German, come to my workshop “German for Opera Singers”

The goal: Through the analysis of the language, this first of a short series of workshops provides a deeper understanding of the language of German opera. It gives you the tools to unlock the emotions in the vocabulary and the structure of the language. After this workshop you will look with greater care at the texts and libretti of German classical music and find nuances that enable you to perfect your performance.

The participants: The workshop is suited for singers at all levels although a basic understanding or some knowledge of vocabuary may be useful. The size of the group may vary between six and ten participants.

The time: Thursday, September 29, 7 pm – 9 pm
at Prachtwerk Cafe (conference room)
in Berlin-Neukölln, Ganghoferstraße 2.

The teacher: I, Bernd Hendricks, certified teacher for German as foreign language, and author of the book “Ach ich fühl’s – German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing” will prepare and conduct the workshop, and I – believe it or not – am flexible. Get a taste of my teaching style with my video.

The outline: The workshop’s syllabus will consist on your preferences. Pick three of the six choices below. The three most chosen topics will make up the syllabus.

Take a look and choose.

A – Introduce yourself to an agent

B – Request a Vorsingtermin through e-mail communication

C – The meaning comes at last – understanding Wagner’s linguistics

D – Little words – great emotions: feeling through Strauss and Hofmannsthal

E – On stage – follow the direction of the Regisseur

F – Die Zauberflöte – listening to Schikaneder’s wit

What are your three preferences? A, B, C, D, E, or F? Do you have additional topics you like to be covered?

Sign up with your answer at bernducha@gmail.com .

The price: The workshop is free. A review of the workshop by the participants in social media, their blogs and the blog “Ach ich fühl’s – German for Opera Singers” would be appreciated. The workshop will be documented with photos, in a video or/and with an article for blogs and other publications.

REGISTER AT  https://www.facebook.com/events/799085343562440/

Subscribe to the newsletter “German for Opera Singers” with blog updates and event announcements.




Der Freischütz (2): Slumber Approaching


Last week, Ännchen has tried to soothe Agathe’s worries about the whereabouts of her lover Max with a light-hearted arietta. Ännchen went to bed, hoping that her elder cousin were at ease. However, now that she is alone, staring through the window into the dark woods, Agathe speaks aloud her innermost feelings. How could she go to sleep (wie nahte mir der Schlummer), before she has seen Max (bevor ich ihn geseh’n) who has been with the evil Kaspar in the infamous Wolf’s ravine to cast magic bullets for tomorrow’s shooting competition? The text of her aria conveys how it feels to wait for a lover, as though riding a roller coaster of hope and worries, every second an eternity. Trying to connect with Max, she sends a little tune through the star-spangled night, hoping that it will reach him. Next, elevated she marvels at the beauty of nature not without discerning the “army” (das Heer) of dark clouds, deployed at the forest. She reaches out to God and prays, and again, worry creeps into her longing. The text becomes clouded by anguish, until – finally – she spots him at the edges of the forest, turning the aria into a jubilation of relief and again into extreme excitement. Her Herz wallt ungestüm, her “heart surges up” as he approaches the house. By the aria’s end, she is convinced that everything will be good tomorrow; luck and happiness will return.

This analysis of the aria’s linguistics is taken from my book “Ach ich fühl’s – German for Opera Singers”.


der Schlummer = slumber, here: sleep
der Pfad = path
fromm: pious,
here: godly, devout
die Weise = tune, manner
aufschwingen =
lit. to swing up in the manner of birds, here: to take wing, die Schwinge = bird’s wing
wallen = old German for to flow,
here: to surge up (emotion) in a wavelike motion
die Sternenkreise = circles of stars,
here: the night sky
die Himmelshalle = hall of heaven, the hall where God resides
die Engelsscharen = flocks of angels
hehr = old, poetic German for noble, sublime
die Grille = cricket
die Täuschung = illusion, delusion
der Wahn = madness
die Zähre = old German for
Träne = tear
der Pfand = deposit, forfeit,
here: pledge

The structure of the language and its intricacies

Take a listen first of a recording by soprano Lotte Lehmann from 1929.

Wie nahte mir der Schlummer,
Bevor ich ihn gesehn?
Ja, Liebe pflegt mit Kummer
Stets Hand in Hand zu gehn!

Agathe asks a rhetorical question: How could it be that “slumber would approach me,” meaning, that she gets sleepy, before she has seen him? Agathe chooses the subjunctive of nahen (to approach). She can say the subjunctive in two ways, first with the auxiliary verb würden and the infinitive nahen (wie würde mir der Schlummer nahen), or second by turning the verb nahen itself into its subjunctive form nahten. That is what she has decided to do. In the second line we discover the participle of sehen, namely gesehen. She presents us with the perfect tense, but we miss the auxiliary verb haben. In the old days people conveniently often dropped the auxiliary verb (haben or sein) when they saw that the participle was sufficient. The good old times are over. Today, we would say, “Wie würde mir der Schlummer nahen, bevor ich ihn gesehen habe?”

Yes, she confirms,
love usually goes with worries
always hand in hand!”

However, here she cannot do without an auxiliary verb, or else the meaning of her maxim would be lost.
Something/someone + pflegen + zu + infinitive = something or someone is in the habit of or usually does … infinitive. (pflegen as main verb = to nurse, to foster.) Here, love usually goes with worries hand in hand – always (stets).

Ob Mond auf seinem Pfad wohl lacht?
Welch schöne Nacht!

She asks whether the moon is casting light on his – Max’s – path. She uses the verb lachen (to laugh) for casting light, a phrase in German for the shining moon or – more common – the shining sun: Heute lacht die Sonne. As mentioned before, she does not add an article to the moon. She talks about the moon as if it were the name of a person.

What a beautiful night!”

Leise, leise,
Fromme Weise!
Schwing dich auf zum Sternenkreise.
Lied erschalle!

Gently, gently,
godly tune!
Swing up to the stars.
Sound loudly, song!”

She speaks in imperative to her tune and tells it to swing up and to sound loudly.
Imperative second person familiar (du) of
aufschwingen = schwing auf, here: with the reflexive sich to make sure that the tune swings up by itself. The word leise stands for quiet but also for gentle.

Feiernd walle
Mein Gebet zur Himmelshalle!

Agathe chooses another imperative, this time for walle ordering her prayer to surge up rejoicing (feiernd) to heaven.

O wie hell die goldnen Sterne,
Mit wie reinem Glanz sie glühn!
Nur dort in der Berge Ferne,
Scheint ein Wetter aufzuziehn.

Beginning with “O”, the first two lines reveal the euphoria the view at the skies has triggered; five words describe the night sky’s light: hell (bright), golden, rein (pure), der Glanz (glow, luster, radiance), glühen (to glow), just to be followed by a premonition, at the moment nothing more than an observation.
In the distance of the mountains, (
in der Berge Ferne – the “poet’s genitiv”, normally in der Ferne der Berge) a storm scheint (seems) to approach.
Usually, the noun das Wetter means weather, but here with an indefinite article (ein) it means storm, or bad weather. The verb aufziehen means to draw on, here as infinitive (scheinen + zu + infinitive).

Dort am Wald auch schwebt ein Heer
Dunkler Wolken dumpf und schwer.

Now, not assuming anymore, Agathe discovers an “army of dark clouds” that hovers over the forest. Her words counterpose the glory vocabulary just a few lines before: schweben, dunkel, dumpf, schwer.

Over there also, at the forest an army
of dark clouds hovers, hollow and heavy.”

Zu dir wende
Ich die Hände,
Herr ohn’ Anfang und ohn’ Ende!
Vor Gefahren
Uns zu wahren
Sende deine Engelscharen! –

Agathe speaks to God with an image. She turns (wenden) her hands (here: die Hände, meaning her own hands) to him (zu + dative, here: zu dir), constantly and urgently. (Ohn’ Anfang und ohn’ Ende!) She continues in imperative, second person singular, familiar (du) for senden = sende.

To protect (wahren) us against danger (here in plural: die Gefahren)
send flocks of your angels.”

Alles pflegt schon längst der Ruh’,
Trauter Freund, wo weilest du?

Everything and everybody “nurtures rest”, already. Der Ruhe pflegen (dative) is an old phrase for to rest. The adverb längst stands for already; schon is an intensifier.
schon längst = already for a while

Ob mein Ohr auch eifrig lauscht,
Nur der Tannen Wipfel rauscht;

No matter (here ob), how attentively (eifrig) I listen, only the top of the fir trees (die Tannen, singular: die Tanne) rustle.
das Ohr lauscht = the (
here: her) ear harkens, a poetic way to say “listen.”

Nur das Birkenlaub im Hain
Flüstert durch die hehre Stille –
Nur die Nachtigall und Grille
Scheint der Nachtluft sich zu freun. –

Agathe perceives the world in a pattern we earlier discussed. First, her sensitivity, hightened by her longing, lets her hear the tiniest “whisper” in the quiet world. Then, a moment later, her observation of the nightingale and the crickets is restricted by the subjectivity of the verb scheinen (to seem).

Only the leaves of the birches in the grove
whisper through the sublime silence –
only the nightingale and the cricket
seem to enjoy the air of the night.”

sich freuen + gentive object = to enjoy something, here: sich der Nachtluft freuen

Doch wie? Täuscht mich nicht mein Ohr?
Dort klingt’s wie Schritte!
Dort aus der Tannen Mitte
Kommt was hervor!
Er ist’s! Er ist’s!

But how? Does not my ear deceive me?
Over there, it sounds like steps!
There, from among the fir trees
something emerges!
It is him! It is him!”

First she hears something, then she sees something, building up the tension to the last line. (Er ist’s!) The phrase aus der Tannen Mitte (or aus der Mitte der Tannen) means literally from the midst of the many fir trees.

Die Flagge der Liebe mag wehn!
Dein Mädchen wacht
Noch in der Nacht! –

Agathe waves a cloth as a sign for Max, according to the librettist’s stage direction.

The flag of love shall fly!
Your girl is still awake in the night!”

Dein Mädchen means literally “your girl” but here it means “your love” or “your lover.” The infinitive of mag is mögen. It means “to like.” Depend on the context it also means “might,” so the flag of love might fly. Here, it would be more correctly, if Agathe put mögen in its imperative (Die Flagge der Liebe möge wehen.) to express desire and enthusiasm. However, her pattern of observation begins to set in – for her things seem to be.

Er scheint mich noch nicht zu sehn!
Gott, täuscht das Licht
Des Monds mich nicht,
So schmückt ein Blumenstrauß den Hut!

He doesn’t seem to see me yet (noch)!”

She presumes “by God” with a conditional that if the light of the moon does not deceive her, then a bunch of flowers (Blumenstrauß) decorates his hat (“his” hat with definite article, accusative; den Hut). The conditional construction beginning with the verb täuscht and continuing with so in the consequent main clause is rarely used in spoken language.
Täuscht das Licht des Monds mich nicht, so schmückt ein Blumenstrauß den Hut.

Normally we use the conjunction wenn, and dann in the main clause: Wenn das Licht des Monds mich nicht täuscht, dann schmückt ein Blumenstrauß den Hut.
The flowers on his head are a good sign for her.

Gewiss, er hat den besten Schuss getan!
Das kündet Glück für morgen an!

Certainly, he gave the best shot!
That heralds happiness for tomorrow!”
ankünden, or more common ankündigen = to announce, to give notice, to herald

O süße Hoffnung! Neu belebter Mut! –
All meine Pulse schlagen,
Und das Herz wallt ungestüm,
Süß entzückt entgegen ihm!

O sweet hope! Courage, newly refreshed!
All my pulses beat,
And my heart flows towards him (ihm entgegen), vehemently (ungestüm), sweetly delighted!”

Agathe is so excited that she has not only one pulse but several (der Puls, plural: die Pulse, here pronounced with a soft s).
She puts
ihm at the very end of the sentence. She could have said, “und das Herz wallt ihm ungestüm, süß entzückt entgegen”, but then, where would be the flow? The Herz is in the beginning, ihm at the end, in the middle nothing else but the wild flow of emotion, wavelike as the word wallen suggests.

Konnt’ ich das zu hoffen wagen?
Ja, es wandte sich das Glück
Zu dem teuern Freund zurück:
Will sich morgen treu bewähren! –

Could I dare to hope?”
Yes, she answers, happiness (or luck – das Glück has both meanings) has returned (zurückwenden, simple past: zurückwandten) to a precious (teuer) friend.
In the last line it is not clear who or what wants (not “will”, here it means: wollen; er, sie, es will) sich morgen treu bewähren. The verb bewähren means “to prove oneself” or “to stand the test.”

Ist’s nicht Täuschung? – Ist’s nicht Wahn?
Himmel, nimm des Dankes Zähren
Für dies Pfand der Hoffnung an!
“Is it not deception? Is it not madness?”
Ist’s is a contraction for ist es. The affirmative question of a negative is asked with ist es nicht. She addresses heaven (der Himmel) with the imperative of the separable verb annehmen (nimm … an = accept, second person, familiar).

Take the tears of gratitude
as my pledge of hope!”

Des Dankes Zähren in the “poet’s genitive”, normally Zähren des Danks.


All meine Pulse schlagen,
Und das Herz wallt ungestüm,
Süß entzückt entgegen ihm.