65 minutes for an operatic version of a work which, in its original, lasts more than three hours – and yet, after hearing this “little abduction”, the impression is that nothing essential was missing. And there is more: Pasha Selim is a speaking role in the original, but here he sings in a fine baritone to express his “sadness” in a duet with Konstanze – and, toward the end, when he sends Konstanze on her journey home, he takes up the perfectly fitting Lied der Trennung (original title, KV 519) [Song of Parting] to show that he will never forget her.
But what has been happening until then?
Konstanze, Belmonte, Blonde and Pedrillo were on a sailing trip when they encountered a storm, where all of them except Belmonte went overboard and were washed up onto an island. Osmin finds the stranded people and has them brought to Pasha Selim’s island palace. Later on, Belmonte also arrives on the island; he forges a plan with Pedrillo for them all to flee, since the elegant Pasha has fallen in love with Konstanze, gruff Osmin is enamored of Blonde, and both men want to keep their heartthrobs with them.
The attempt to flee fails; everything is discovered, yet Pasha bears no resentment – he allows the four seafarers to travel back to their homeland.
Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio tells the story of freedom and cherished friendship of these foreigners in exotic circumstances. This compact version uses a 10-piece instrumental ensemble, lively, temperamental and full of surprising twists and turns.
- even the powerful can show generosity and give, although they could also make selfish decisions.
A wonderful introduction to the world of opera!
The performance is a production of the Pfalztheater Opera Studio. The Premiere will be on 8 December 2019.
Read the full score:
The Abduction from the Seraglio