04 Aug 2008
MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail — Salzburg 1997
Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Singspiel in 3 Acts.
Hamlet: Opéra in five acts. Music composed by Ambroise Thomas. Libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier after The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare.
Advertised in the program as the first opera written in the New World, La Púrpura de la Rosa (PR) was premiered in 1701 in Lima (Peru), but more than the historical feat, true or not, accounts for the piece’s interest.
Das Liebesverbot: Grosse komische Oper in two acts.
Opera in three acts. Words and music by Richard Wagner.
Parsifal. Bühnenweihfestspiel (“stage dedication play”) in three acts.
“German poet, dramatist and novelist. One of the most important literary and cultural figures of his age, he was recognized during his lifetime for his accomplishments of almost universal breadth. However, it is his literary works that have most consistently sustained his reputation, and that also serve to demonstrate most clearly his many-faceted relationship to music. . . .
This theme relates to operas based on the works of Friedrich von Schiller.
Here are operas based on French literature from Balzac, Hugo and beyond:
Le Cid, Opéra in 4 acts
I puritani, opera seria in three acts
Zaira, Tragedia lirica in two acts.
Athalia: Oratorio (sacred drama) in 3 acts
Lucrezia Borgia: Melodramma in a prologue and two acts.
La Esmeralda: Opéra in four acts.
Ernani: Dramma lirico in four parts.
Oberst Chabert (Colonel Chabert): Tragic opera in 3 acts.
Otello: Dramma lirico in four acts.
Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito after The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice by William Shakespeare.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy in five acts with incidental music.
Le Marchand de Venise (“The Merchant of Venice”): Opéra in three acts.
Gli Equivoci (The Comedy of Errors): Opera in two acts.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Singspiel in 3 Acts.
First Performance: 16 July 1782, Burgtheater, Vienna.
|Selim, Pasha||Nonsinging role|
|Constanze, a Spanish lady and Belmonte's bethrothed||Soprano|
|Blonde, Constanze's English maid||Soprano|
|Belmonte, a Spanish nobleman||Tenor|
|Pedrillo, Belmonte's servant and now supervisor of the Pasha's gardens||Tenor|
|Osmin, overseer of the Pasha's country palace||Bass|
|Klaas, a sailor||Nonsinging role|
|Mute, Osmin's servant||Nonsinging role|
Setting: The country palace of Pasha Selim.
Background to the story
This is the tale of Constanze and Belmonte, two young Spaniards of noble birth. Constanze, her English maid, Blonde, and Pedrillo, Belmonte’s servant, fell into the hands of pirates who attacked their ship. The pirates sold their captives at a slave market to Pasha Selim. After month of searching for them in despair, tormented by not knowing what had become of his beloved Constanze and the two servants, Belmonte sets out to find them.
Belmonte has arrived on the distant Turkish shore and approaches the high wall surrounding the seraglio. Here he encounters Osmin, the Pasha’s right-hand man, and questions him about the people he is seeking. Osmin, however, has not the slightest intention of giving this stranger any information whatsoever and sends him on his way.
Belmonte continues to look for a way to get into the seraglio.Through a prison window, he manages to catch a glimpse of Pedrillo. This confirms that Constanze and Blonde are also being held prisoner in the harem.
Pasha Selim has chosen Constanze to be the object of his affections. He visits the harem every day and does everything in his power to persuade her into accepting his suit. Constanze remains steadfast in adamantly refusing to succumb. She has no idea yet that her beloved Belmonte is so near.
Meanwhile, Belmonte has disguised himself as an architect an enters the First Courtyard of the seraglio. He teams up with Pedrillo and together they try to get past Osmin into the Second Courtyard.
Osmin has taken a fancy to Blonde, but his persistent advances are met with resistance by the young English woman. The two of them are involved in constant battles of wit, which Osmin just can’t win.
Constanze makes it increasingly difficult for the Pasha to approach her and he finally loses patience. He threatens to punish her if she does not soon accept his suit.
Blonde learns about the plan for their escape from Pedrillo. Before they can put the plan into action, however, they first have to outwit Osmin. Pedrillo manages to persuade Osmin to help him empty a bottle of wine and the latter then falls into a deep sleep. The two couples are able to meet and plan their escape.
Belmonte, still disguised as an architect, smuggles Pedrillo out of the Seraglio and they head for Belmonte’s ship. There they wait for night to fall.
Music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). Libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger, based on an earlier libretto by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner.
At midnight, Belmonte and Pedrillo row round the coast to the foot of the harem. Pedrillo serenades his Blonde as a signal. Osmin discovers them in the boat and sends a fleet of ships out to capture them again.
The death penalty awaits them, but Pasha Selim decides to forgo revenge and sets the captives free.
[Synopsis Source: Bayerische Staatsoper]