CULTURE

‘Abduction from the Seraglio’ graces National Opera stage

One of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic operas, «Abduction from the Seraglio,» is currently being staged by the National Opera. The production, which opened at the Olympia Theater on Sunday, will run to early December (performances are scheduled for tomorrow, November 27 and 30, December 2 and 4). The great composer began working on the opera following a commission by the young director of the National Singspiel (a singspiel is a musical comedy with spoken dialogue), based on a libretto by Bretzner. The rather simplistic plot incorporated all the basic elements for success. The initial idea was for the opera to be completed in one month. The opera’s eventual postponement, however, offered Mozart the opportunity to work on it more extensively, and when the work debuted in 1782, it proved to be nothing short of a triumph. The opera is set in Turkey, a country which has always seemed to fascinate the Western world, given its combination of liberality and violence. In the story, the young aristocrat Belmonte goes to Turkey in order to free his beloved Constanza, who has been sold as a slave to Pasha Selim. Constanza is being held captive along with Pedrillo and his companion Blonde, both of whom used to work for Belmonte. Following a series of adventures and revelations, both couples manage to escape. At the Olympia Theater, the «Abduction from the Seraglio» is based on a past National Opera production. The opera is conducted by Alkis Baltas, directed by Panayiotis Troussas and features sets and costumes by Giorgos Patsas. The cast includes Tzeni Drivala, Vassiliki Karayianni, Marianna Mansola, Nikos Stefanou, Antonis Koroneos, Petros Magoulas, Constantinos Paliatsaras and Michael Eder. National Opera, Olympia Theater, 59 Academias, tel 210.361.2461/364.3725.