The Abduction from the Seraglio
'There are just as many notes as there should be'
With five-star reviews across the board for Albert Herring, John Copley returns to direct Mozart’s first comic masterpiece in a specially commissioned English translation by David Parry. Jean-Luc Tingaud also returns to conduct the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Mozart’s life-enhancing score. No recitatives. Spoken dialogue separating arias and ensembles of wonderful brilliance, Seraglio was an instant hit. It is light-hearted, comic, and deeply affecting. Some of the music for the singers requires extreme vocal virtuosity. You will not be disappointed. The heroic Belmonte tries to rescue his beloved Konstanze from the Pasha’s country-house harem. The ending is heart-warming.
- Composer — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Librettist — Christoph Friedrich Bretzner
- Orchestra — Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- Translation — David Parry
- Act I
- Act II
- Act III
~ Act I ~
Pasha Selim has bought three slaves from pirates - Konstanze, a young Spanish lady; Blonde, her English maid; and Pedrillo, who is the servant of Konstanze’s fiancé́, Belmonte, and in love with Blonde. Belmonte has traced them to the pasha’s palace, where Konstanze has become Pasha’s favourite. The pasha has made Pedrillo his gardener and has given Blonde to Osmin, his palace overseer.
At the palace gate, Belmonte meets Osmin, who treats him coolly and flies into a rage when Belmonte asks about Pedrillo, Osmin’s rival. Osmin drives Belmonte away and then rants 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 Blonde.
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, Blonde explains to Osmin how a European woman should be treated. Konstanze finds Blonde 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 fiancé. Blonde 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 realise what is going on. The four are locked up. When brought before the pasha, Belmonte suggests he collect a ransom from his wealthy family. At the mention of this name, the pasha realises 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 Blonde and Pedrillo. The grateful couples praise their benefactor as they prepare to set sail.