Share |

Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail

Published by: James Senor on 14th Nov 2015 | View all blogs by James Senor

Reviewed 11th November 2015

Serail 1

image Clive Barda

The Abduction from the Seraglio follows the story of two forsaken lovers. Belmonte is in love with Konstanze but she is enslaved to Pasha Salim. Pasha Salim wishes to marry Konstanze but not forcefully and so waits for her to respond to his affections. However, Belmonte plans to free Konstanze With the help of his past servant Pedrillo, who is also enslaved to Pasha. He devises a plan to free both Konstanze and her close friend Blonde. Blonde and Pedrillo are also in love, which is used as a comparative to the love of Belmonte and Konstanze throughout the play. There are only two significant people in the way of their escape, Osmin and Pasha Salim. Osmin is a servant of the Pasha and detests Pedrillo with a vengeance. Pasha is a Spanish ‘Renegade’, convert, who has prospered in Turkey and owns the household they are held in. 

The opera takes the form of a Singspiel; a German light opera, typically with spoken language. It is famous for being one of Mozart’s first full operas. The work premiered in 1782 and was a huge success both critically and financially.

In Glyndebourne’s production the set effectively captures the essence of its Eastern setting with meticulous attention to detail, the use of colour from the sandstone walls to the wooden screens is perfectly balanced. Designer Vicki Mortimer also makes very creative use of space with the numerous scenes she brought to life. Each scene change felt smooth, coherent and relevant.

Serail 2

image Clive Barda

There is a fantastic array of colour in the costumes; each piece equally important and going so far as to tell a story of the supernumeraries;  quite a task here considering the large cast of this production. 

Singing and acting was strong with amazing vocal dexterity by Ana Maria Labin playing Konstanze (Soprano) who wowed the audience with her performance of the demanding Ach, ich Liebte. Ben Bliss and James Kryshak made excellent work of Belmonte and Pedrillo (both Tenors). But theere was an outstanding performance from Clive Bayley and Franck Saurel for Osmin and Pasha.

Bayley really brought Osmin out as a loathsome and ugly character one which is not just a doltish oaf but a cruel bully with real intention. This injected a real element of frustration into the opera as he appeared to ruin the plans of Belmonte every time, provoking comical boos from the crowd at the end.

Franck Saurel has limited freedom with his spoken role however his acting skills shone. His role is, in some regards, the most important one being pivotal to the plot’s continuity. Letting Belmonte, Pedrillo, Konstanze and Blonde go in the end for dignity and honour is a drastic change. And for such a change the actor needs to tactfully present those virtues while subduing and masking them with anger and frustration. This, he has achieved. 

Ultimately an excellent opera to go see - exciting, emotional and highly dramatic.  

Glyndebourne plays Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 14th November then continuing on tour.

http://www.glyndebourne.com/tickets-and-whats-on/our-seasons/tour-2015/

Milton Keynes Box office 0844 871 7652

Comments

2 Comments

  • Carolin Kopplin
    by Carolin Kopplin 2 years ago
    Nice review. Did you mean Die Entführung aus dem Serail?
  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 2 years ago
    Thanks, James. Well written.
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.