• Opera
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie
  • Producer: David Hermann
  • Opernhaus Zürich, Switcherland
  • Until 21 September 2016
  • Review by Fabio Andrea Rickenmann
  • 10 November 2016
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
3.0Reviewer's Rating

A restaurant, an apartment and always some strange audible beeps? The Seraglio remains of a chic apartment and suddenly everybody looks like Konstanze or Belmonte? And where is Bassa Selim?

At the first glance it remains me of a psycho movie we often see in television, but not at all of the original story

Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” tells the story of the noble Konstanze, Blonde her maid and Pedrillo, Belmonte’s servant, who gets kidnapped by Bassa Selim a Turkish Prince. He want Konstanze to become his wife but she only thinks of her Husband Belmonte who is in terrible sorrow, since Konstanze got kidnapped. He decides to free his beloved Konstanze. The alignment succeeds, but just when the want to climb their ship, they get caught by Bassa Selim, who threatens to kill both of them. However triumphs compassion in him and he lets the couple go.

The German director David Hermann and his set designer Bettina Meier create a complete new story. In his version it is all about the relationship between Konstanze and Belmonte. The audience gets an inside into his thoughts. Belmonte is plagued by the constant fear, that Konstanze could cheat on him. Bassa Selim is nothing more, than one of Belmonte’s fears. Hemann provides Bassa Selim as an old man, a clever idea: Belmonte sees himself in the future, as an old helpless man. This future Ego persecutes the poor Belmonte. Also Blonde and Pedrillo are nothing more than double. David Hermann removed all the Dialogs and created his own new piece. The music is still the same but everything else is different. The basic idea behind this abnormal staging is pretty good, would it only had worked with the implementation. Without a major dispute with this new staging, based on interviews, I understood it just as little, as some people from the audience, who complained with loud boos at the end of the opera. This staging requires from the audience to read all these interviews before going to the opera. A good staging should be comprehensible to the audience, without any preparation. A majority of the audience left the opera very perplexed, which is a shame, because Hermann certainly worked really hard for this production.

Also by musical page, this evening was not always pleasant. The conductor Maxim Emelyanychev conducted the Orchestra La Scintilla with very little flair. The orchestra played his part without much joy or euphoria. To orchestra just needed the final touches. The woodwind often intoned unclean and Emelyanychev seemed overwhelmed rhythmically. An important point for this failure in the orchestra pit , were probably the sound recordings by Malte Preuss. Almost after every aria, the audience was disturbed by weird sounding recordings, often in form of some strange audible beeps. The whole dynamics broke because of this penetrating interruptions. In my opinion this is very disrespectful to Mozart’s magnificent compositions.

A highlight of this evening was quite certainly the absolutely fantastic Olga Peretyatko, who sang the Konstanze. Especially in her second Aria “Martern aller Arten” is her soprano indeed narrow of scope but always focused and with deadly effectiveness. She always hits all pointed notes with such a sovereignty, that you might think, that she does it all day. Brava for this great debut.  Pavol Breslik sung his Belmonte beautifully. He sung all his Arias with so much passion. Breslik has a nice sounding but thin voice. Unfortunately we could sometimes hardly hear him over the orchestra, but Emelyanychev didn’t consideration for Breslik. What a pity.  Claire de Sévigné had similar problems. Her voice, a lyric soprano is specialized for high notes and not for being loud. Her voice still needs some time to mature, but her Blonde was really good for such a young singer. Michael Laurenz’ clear and strong tenor was just perfect for the role of Pedrillo and Nahuel di Pierro’s massive bass almost sounded like Matti Salminen. Just right for the role as the mean Osmin.  The “Zusatzchoir of the Opera Zurich”, well rehearsed by Jürg Hämmerli, rounded the evening off with an euphoric finale.

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