31st Mozart Festival in Warsaw
Theatre of Warsaw Chamber Opera
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Singspiel in three acts, in original German language version with Polish dialogues
Composer | Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto | Johann Gottlieb Stephanie der Jüngere
Premiere | 20 April 2018
Revival | Grzegorz Boniecki
Music director | Marcin Sompoliński
Choreographer | Natalia Madejczyk
Set design, costumes and lighting | Paweł Dobrzycki
Set design collaboration | Katarzyna Gabrat-Szymańska
Assistant conductor | Agata Zając
Assistant director |Tatiana Korpaczowa
Stage manager | Maria Grąbkowska
Konstanze – Joanna Moskowicz
Belmonte – Jacek Szponarski
Pedrillo – Bartosz Nowak
Blonde – Paulina Horajska
Osmin – Dariusz Górski
Selim – Maciej Miecznikowski
Vocal Ensemble of Warsaw Chamber Opera
Chorus master: Krzysztof Kusiel-Moroz
Ancient Instruments Ensemble of Warsaw Chamber Opera
Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense
Aleksander Słojewski – Master of Ceremonies
Mariusz Karpiński – mime
Radosław Kamieniarz – senior violinist
Katarzyna Reisch – dance
Liliana Rogowska-Tylman, Gabriel Zorzano-Chmielewski – children
True love must be fought for
In the complex labyrinth of the performance, the dear spectator will see not only the entertaining and amusing story of the adventures of young people in love in the fabulously unpredictable Turkey of the 18th century, but also the lyrical story and not simple relations of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with his wife Konstanze. This work is about love, about the necessity to fight for it. Love must be won and then kept. Belmonte ends up in a foreign country because of love and suffers enormously because of love, and then overcomes everything because of love. There are two parallel threads in our performance: a comic plot and Mozart’s dramatic life line. It is no coincidence that the name of the main character is Konstanze, just like the composer’s wife. I was charmed by Polish theatre. I do not strive and do not plan my work, it is just God who guides me this way. Thanks to this, I encountered on my path the Warsaw Chamber Opera and returned to my old idea. Laughter in opera is a very complicated matter, and I would like these two opposing poles – comic and dramatic – to be presented in a way that is interesting for the viewer. I am very curious by nature and in that I’m like a monkey. For this reason, I directed Modest Mussorgski’s Boris Godunov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in Wrocław. I am very lucky in life. I would like to express my gratitude to the Director, Alicja Węgorzewska-Whiskerd, for the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of artists. I derive great joy and satisfaction from this work.
Jurij Aleksandrow, director
“The Abduction from the Seraglio”, great music, ravishing costumes, houris are dancing, and the audience split their sides with laughter.
Bronisław Tumiłowicz, Przegląd
A small, intimate stage can be the greatest ally of the show’s creators. All you need is an idea and perfect implementation. A kind of triviality and clear obviousness. But I have checked many times that it is not so easy to implement this obviousness. Not this time. “The Abduction from the Seraglio” at the Warsaw Chamber Opera is a small, yet great masterpiece. I use the term “small” because of the space in which it happens. This directing, choreography, costume and stage design jewel was served to us with due respect and love for W. A. Mozart’s music.
Alicja Węgorzewska-Whiskerd, artistic director of the WCO, invited outstanding artists, giving them a great comfort of work. And it could be seen. In costumes, choreography, directing and scenography. And it was also heard in music.
“The Abduction from the Seraglio” is an opera-trap. The virtuoso vocal parts are saturated with repetitions, so the plot may drag on and the opera becomes boring. But again – not in here, not this time. The director took care of the spectator, but not in an unduly manner. So, for example, when Konstanze stubbornly repeats over and over again that she loves another man and will die sooner than she will give up herself to Bassa – he draws our attention with gesture, facial expression, his whole being, making the aria quite interesting.
Hence it was colourful, fabulous and opulent. Even the smallest detail was perfectly done (Bassa’s nails painted gold !!!). It is important especially with such a small stage, where the viewer’s contact with the artist is close, so every falsehood, every defect is visible. There were no fakes or glitches here. The singers for the “Abduction” were selected by casting. It was not only technical qualities or musical skills that counted, but also acting skills. Each of the characters in this opera has its nature, specific features that need to be emphasized. Konstanze is like a mimosa, delicate and fragile, although she has some character at times, Blonde is sharp, hot, go-getting, Bassa is authoritarian, while Osmin is a bit slimy old man … We’ve seen it all!
Kinga Wojciechowska, Presto