ETO – The SeraglioTue 12 & Sat 16 November 2019
This autumn, English Touring Opera will tour Mozart’s The Seraglio and Kurt Weill’s The Silver Lake – A Winter’s Tale (Der Silbersee). Two ‘plays with music’ (singspiel), The Seraglio is a light comedy with emotional truth, and The Silver Lake – A Winter’s Tale (Der Silbersee) is a poignant story with a sharp edge of satire.
With The Seraglio, Mozart’s first real success in the theatre, the youthful genius was conscious of his Viennese audience’s fascination with all things eastern. The harem, or Seraglio, was at its centre.
For the characters of Belmonte and Konstanze, the young composer wrote his most passionate and difficult music; for their servants, Pedrillo and Blonde, he wrote his wittiest. They are a bit like castaways on an island, free of practical skill, finding out their strengths and weaknesses by trial and error.
Mozart up-ends all possible stereotyping in his singspiel. If you meet a more independent and assured maid than Blonde, maybe take cover; if you expect tyranny from everyone who frightens you, look closer at the Pasha.
A charming confection with a beating heart, ETO’s period production of The Seraglio, directed by Stephen Medcalf and conducted by John Andrews, promises to be a good night out for all.
Sung in English. With English surtitles.