Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio” which premiered in Vienna on July 16, 1782 comes to LA Opera with the same raucous twists and drama, but with an ode to Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” by removing it from the harem and planting it on a train.
Young and dashing Belmonte (Tenor, Joel Preito, making his LA Opera debut) comes to the aid of his sweetheart, Konstaze (a knock-out performance by Soprano, Sally Matthews) and servants Blond and Pedrillo, who have been taken into captivity by the Turk (an equally dashing, Hamish Linklater) Selim Pasha. What ensues is a romp of comedy, romance and suspense, delivered all the more cinematically with the stage’s aspect ratio that makes it look like you’re watching an epic 3-D movie.
The opera feels particularly relevant in today’s environment. While the oriental cliches of a debauched Middle Eastern foreigner kidnapping a faithfully, virginal European may strike some as dated, the themes of forgiveness and magnanimity, not often associated with the same despot, balances the story and shines both a redemptive and refreshing humanity on the same character.
“The Abduction from the Seraglio” from Jan. 28 to Feb. 19 at the LA Opera.