What do Dan Brown and Mozart have in common? Not much. One is the author of modern bestsellers such as The Da Vinci Code, and the other is a classical composer who’s been dead for centuries. But they do overlap in one area: freemasonry. Brown told the Associated Press in 2009 that he wanted to join the ancient fraternity, but “If you join the Masons, you take a vow of secrecy.” That means he couldn’t have published books such as The Lost Symbol, in which a man tries to unlock the secret to “unfathomable power” that Masons have guarded for thousands of years. Mozart, on the other hand, had no such conflicts. He was a mason for the last seven years of his life — and because the guy lived to only 35, that’s a hefty chunk of time. If you, like the rest of book-buying America, find the Masons as thrilling as Brown does, you’ll want to see Florida Grand Opera’s The Magic Flute when it opens at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Saturday. On its surface, the opera is a fairy tale about a handsome prince, an evil queen, her confused daughter, and a bird catcher. But look deeper and you’ll see that Mozart and his musical partner Emanuel Schikaneder, also a Freemason, used the plot to advocate Masonic ideals. It has all the intrigue of a Brown bestseller without Tom Hanks’s long, creepy hair.
Sat., Jan. 26, 7 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 1, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 10, 2 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 16, 8 p.m., 2013