‘THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO’
Music by WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Libretto by GOTTLOB STEPHANIE THE YOUNGER (adapted from the original of Christoph Friedrich Bretzner)
A Dayton Opera Premiere and New Production
JOSEPH MECHAVICH conductor
KATHLEEN CLAWSON stage director
TYLER NELSON* tenor – Belmonte
JEREMY GALYON bass – Osmin
AMANDA WOODBURY* soprano – Konstanze
CHELSEA FRIEDLANDER* soprano – Blondchen
ROBERT NORMAN tenor – Pedrillo
*Dayton Opera debut
DAYTON OPERA THOMAS BANKSTON artistic director
DAYTON OPERA CHORUS JEFFREY POWELL chorus master
IN GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SURTITLES/NEW ENGLISH DIALOGUE BY ANDREA FELLOWS WALTERS AND KATHLEEN CLAWSON
Mozart first conquered Vienna with his vivacious comedy The Abduction from the Seraglio which features rollicking Turkish-flavored music virtuosic solo singing stupendous duets and ensembles and the exotic setting of a Turkish harem. A freewheeling tale of two women purchased from pirates by the Pasha Selim and their eventual rescue by their lovers the work’s style is strongly similar to that of The Magic Flute with even more death-defyingly difficult acrobatic singing by both of the women and the Pasha’s servant the comically lecherous bass Osmin.
Konstanze defies all attempts at seduction by the Pasha and sings one of the most difficult high-flying arias of the soprano repertoire “Martern aller Arten” (“Tortures of all kinds”) in resisting his offer to take her into his harem. Blonde her pert English maid likewise rejects Osmin whose virtuosic runs and sepulchral low notes mark the deep end of Mozart’s operatic output.
With their help of their Spanish lovers Belmonte and his servant Pedrillo the imprisoned women nearly make their escape aided by two ladders and copious amounts of spiked wine. They are captured nevertheless. Fortunately Pasha Selim shows his magnanimity and the opera jubilantly concludes in a burst of dazzling high spirits as the lovers praise their selfless benefactor and prepare to set sail. It’s a sparkling trip you’ll be glad you made!