MOT presents Mozart’s passionate ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio’

By |2007-05-03T09:00:00-04:00May 3rd, 2007|Uncategorized|

DETROIT – Michigan Opera Theatre continues its 2007 Spring Opera Season with the highly-anticipated company premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” May 12-19. The opera will be presented in English. The universal appeal of “Abduction” has been enthralling audiences the world over since its premiere in 1782. Filled with all the lighthearted enthusiasm of a classic romantic drama, the opera is a story of perpetual romance and attraction.
“In recognition of Mozart’s 250th birthday, we present ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio.’ One of the most popular works of his day, this production marks a company premiere for Michigan Opera Theatre, and we couldn’t be more excited. The music is vocally demanding and easily recognizable – truly a shining example of Mozart’s brilliance,” said Dr. David DiChiera, MOT’s general director.
Set in 16th Century Turkey, “Abduction” begins as Belmonte, a young Spaniard, arrives at the seaside plaza of the Pasha’s palace. Belmonte arrives to search for his love Konstanze, who has been enslaved by the fiendish Pasha Selim of Turkey. It seems that Osmin, the Pasha’s overseer and Pedrillo, Belmonte’s friend, share an interest in the beautiful Blonde, Konstanze’s English maid. Pedrillo appears to meet with Belmonte, and the two friends begin plotting to escape with the objects of their respective desires.
To make the love story even more complex, the Pasha is in love with the Konstanze as well, but she is still taken with her old flame, Belmonte, and tells her captor as much. Konstanze begins to believe that Belmonte has forgotten about her inside the palace walls and tells Blonde that Belmonte has failed to rescue her. The Pasha is beginning to demand her love, and while she is defiant, she doubts that Belmonte will come to her aide. Suddenly, Pedrillo enters, telling Blonde that Belmonte has arrived, and has a ship anchored off-shore. Pedrillo and Blonde will elope at midnight, keeping Osmin distracted with a special drink. After a little diversion, Osmin is dragged off asleep, and the four lovers are left to confirm their plans of elopement. Finally, outside the palace walls the Spaniards stand ready to abduct their loves – armed, in romantic fashion, with ladders and serenades.
While Belmonte and Konstanze are able to escape, the commotion stirs Osmin, and recovering from his stupor, the overseer is able to intercept them. The four runaways are brought before the Pasha, who quickly condemns the Spaniards to an immediate death. The Pasha quickly reconsiders, realizing that Belmonte is the son of his enemy. He chooses to teach them a lesson in civility, and opts to free the men. He even presents them with their beloved before sending the foursome on their way.
Music from Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” includes some of the composer’s most spectacular, complex, and difficult arias. The opera is filled with passionate arias and duets, including Belmonte’s aria “Heir soll ich dich denn sehen Konstanze” (“Here may I hope to find you, Konstanze”) and Konstanze’s aria “Ach, ich liebte” (“Ah, I was in love”). Konstanze’s music is among the most demanding soprano roles in all of opera. The libretto, or text, is written by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner, adapted and enlarged by Gottlieb Stephanie, and the opera will be performed in English with supertitles.
MOT’s premiere of “Abduction” features an illustrious cast of opera stars, most of whom will make their company debut. The musically challenging role of Konstanze will be sung alternately by two of America’s leading sopranos: Elizabeth Futral (May 12, 16, 19) and Leah Partridge (May 13, 18). Both are making their MOT debut, and Partridge will be singing the role of Roxane in the highly-anticipated world premiere of David DiChiera’s Cyrano in October.
“Abduction” also includes the MOT debut of American bass Gregory Frank (May 12, 16, 19) and North American debut of German-born bass Peter Lobert (May 13, 18) alternately singing the role of Osmin. The role of Blonde will be sung by American soprano Amanda Pabyan, making her MOT debut. The role of Belmonte will be sung alternately between exciting American tenor Shawn Mathey (May 12, 16, 19) and tenor Ryan MacPherson (May 13, 18), making his Detroit debut.
Tickets for Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of “Abduction” at the magnificent Detroit Opera House range from $28-$120, and are available at the Detroit Opera House ticket office (1526 Broadway, Detroit, 48226), by phone at 313-237-7464 and online at http://www.MichiganOpera.org.


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