An Enlightened Opera
Ottoman Empire, 17th century.
A Spanish nobleman arrives at a pasha's palace to rescue his fiancee, who was captured during a shipwreck. Together they discover that different cultures need not always clash, and romantic longing comes in many forms.
Mozart's first major success, written when he was 26 years old, The Abduction from the Seraglio
is full of virtuoso music, with spectacular arias for every character.
Don't miss this masterpiece that weaves comedy and youthful optimism into a perfect blend of humor and humanity.
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Learn more about our cast!
* Madison Opera debut
Conductor: John DeMain
Director: Alison Mortiz*
Sung in German with English dialogue and projected English text
Friday, February 9, 2018 | 8pm
Sunday, February 11, 2018 | 2:30pm
Performances last approx. 3 hours; including 1 intermission
Opera Novice: They Can Talk, Too? Operas With Dialogue | January 19, 2018
Opera Up Close: The Abduction from the Seraglio preview | February 4, 2018
Opera Talks: Pre-Opera Talk and Post-Opera Q&A session
The Story of the Opera
Turkey, the 1700s. Pasha Selim has bought as slaves three Europeans taken prisoner by pirates: Konstanze, a young Spanish lady; Blondchen, her English maid; and Pedrillo, who is the servant of Konstanze’s fiance´, Belmonte, and in love with Blondchen. Belmonte has traced the trio to the pasha’s seaside palace, where Konstanze has become her new master’s favorite. The pasha has made Pedrillo his gardener and has given Blondchen to Osmin, his palace overseer.
At the palace gate, Belmonte encounters Osmin, who treats him coolly and flies into a rage when Belmonte asks about Pedrillo, Osmin’s rival. Osmin drives Belmonte away and then rails at Pedrillo when he suggests that they should finally make peace. Belmonte returns and learns from Pedrillo that the pasha has fallen in love with Konstanze but will not force himself on her. Pedrillo will try to arrange a meeting between Konstanze and Belmonte and an escape by boat with Blondchen.
Konstanze returns from a pleasure trip with the pasha. He has been treating her with respect but she cannot forget Belmonte and keeps rejecting his advances. Pedrillo introduces Belmonte to the pasha as a promising young architect and Selim welcomes him. Osmin tries to bar the way as Belmonte and Pedrillo enter the palace, but they force their way past him.ACT II
In the palace garden, Blondchen explains to Osmin how a European woman should be treated. Konstanze finds Blondchen and laments her sad situation. When the pasha again asks her to marry him, she tells him she would prefer torture, even death, to betraying her fiance´. Blondchen and Pedrillo discuss the escape plan: they will get Osmin drunk and all four leave on Belmonte’s ship. Even though Osmin’s religion forbids him to drink wine, Pedrillo has no difficulty in getting him drunk, leaving the coast clear for the two couples to meet.ACT III
That night, Belmonte and Pedrillo come to the ladies’ window with a ladder. Pedrillo sings a serenade as the signal for escape, but this wakes Osmin, who is not too hungover to realize what is going on. The four are locked up. When brought before the pasha, Belmonte suggests he collect a ransom from his wealthy family, the Lostados. At the mention of this name, the pasha realizes that Belmonte is the son of an old enemy, the man who exiled him from his own country. He decides to repay evil with good, freeing Konstanze and Belmonte, and even Blondchen and Pedrillo. The grateful couples praise their benefactor as they prepare to set sail.
~Courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera