Singspiel in three acts

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart · Libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie d.J.
In German without surtitles

Tuesday, 19. July 2005
06:00 pm – 08:45 pm

Duration est. 2 hours 45 minutes · 1. + 2. Akt (est. 06:00 pm - 07:45 pm ) · Interval (est. 07:45 pm - 08:15 pm ) · 3. Akt (est. 08:15 pm - 08:45 pm )

Premiere at 15. January 2003

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Musikalische Leitung
Harry Bicket
Martin Duncan
Jonathan Lunn
Stan Pressner
Stellario Fagone

Diana Damrau
Chen Reiss
Christoph Strehl
Kevin Conners
Kurt Rydl
Bassa Selim
Bernd Schmidt
Fatma Genç
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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A European woman in the hands of Muslim fundamentalists. A western rescue mission goes awry. Execution by the special unit is a foregone conclusion. But: vengeance is nothing - forgiveness everything! Unfortunately only a very few have the greatness of heart to exercise it. Mozart's contribution to the clash of civilizations and a not-to-be-underestimated comedy for music.


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.

Act One

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.

Act Two

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.

Act Three

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.

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.

© Bavarian State Opera

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Premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Die Entführugn aus dem Serail" on January 15, 2003 in the  Nationaltheater

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Martin Duncan studierte an der Londoner Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Er schrieb zahlreiche Werke für Schauspiel, komponierte über 50 Bühnenmusiken und war als Schauspieler und Choreograph tätig. Als Opernregisseur arbeitete er u. a. beim Edinburgh Festival, am Londoner Royal Opera House Covent Garden sowie an der Scottish Opera, der Canadian Opera und der Opera North. Schauspielinszenierungen und Performances erarbeitete er u. a. mit der Royal Shakespeare Company, am Royal National Theatre und am Berliner Maxim Gorki Theater. 1994 bis 1999 leitete er das Nottingham Playhouse. Von 2002 bis 2005 war er Co-Artistic Director des Chichester Festival Theatre. Inszenierungen an der Bayerischen Staatsoper: Xerxes, La clemenza di Tito (1999), The Rake’s Progress, Die Entführung aus dem Serail. (Stand: 2017)

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