Mozart: The Abduction from the Seraglio

Posted December 3, 2020 in Arts and Culture

National Concert Hall and Irish National Opera present a Livestream Concert Performance this Saturday 5 December at 8pm.

Streaming from Wexford National Opera House on Saturday 5 December, in partnership with Irish Chamber Orchestra.


In May this year Irish National Opera made a promise to reassemble the outstanding cast, chorus and the Irish Chamber Orchestra to mount a concert performance of The Abduction from the Seraglio, so that audiences could experience the joy of Mozart’s score live-streamed in all its glory. Originally due to take place in Dublin and Wexford, the opera was postponed because of Covid19. INO adapted the work for lockdown conditions during the summer and the artists involved got to explore the piece online as Seraglio the Mini-Series, when one conductor, five principal singers, a chorus of sixteen and thirty-three musicians, created the opera using 55 phones in 55 different locations.

INO delivers on their concert promise this Saturday 5 December, joining forces with the National Concert Hall, the cast, orchestra and chorus will come together for the first time in a theatre, in the opulent National Opera House, Wexford, to perform a live streamed concert performance of the opera.

Mozart’s exotically colourful score includes some of his most brilliant, extreme and virtuosic arias that explore difficult but prescient issues. People trafficking across the seas is nothing new and sex has long been part of its matrix.

Mozart’s masterpiece The Abduction from the Seraglio also deals with conflicts between nationalities and cultures with the lightest and most sophisticated of touches.

After her spectacular success in INO’s national tour of The Tales of Hoffmann (2019) soprano Claudia Boyle returns to INO to head the cast as Konstanze. Claudia, a singer who is captivating in the truest sense of the word, is well up to the challenge of “Martern Aller Arten”, arguably one of the most difficult arias written by Mozart. Her Konstanze has been widely praised for vocal fireworks, “soaring up to the top C’s as she excoriates the Pasha’s lustful longings and proclaiming that it will be death before dishonour” (Sunday Business Post).  In the video interview below, Claudia shares what it is like to sing one of Mozart’s most stratospheric arias and tells us why she thinks Seraglio is one of his strongest operas, both dramatically and musically.



The “stylish” (The Irish Times) tenor Dean Power, originally from Clarecastle and currently a member of the Bayerische Staatsoper ensemble in Munich, will be making his INO debut as Belmonte.  Soprano Sarah Power, whose performance as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice (INO, United Fall and GIAF 2018/19) was described as “wonderful” (Irish Arts Review) sings Blonde, with tenor Andrew Gavin as Pedrillo and bass James Platt as Osmin.

The Irish National Opera Chorus and Irish Chamber Orchestra are conducted by INO Artistic Partner, Peter Whelan. A huge Mozart fan, Whelan believes that in the composer’s work “everything is shot through with humanity. It’s a real person writing, who understands the human condition. He can do the whole gamut of emotions. And he can also turn on a dime, go from one extreme to the other, and break your heart in so doing.”

Peter Whelan Conducting

“On the surface, Seraglio tells the tale of Western Europeans who are hatching a plan to escape from captivity from those who they believe are barbarians — the Turks. Mozart always paints his characters with humanity and dignity, be they female or male, of high or low birth, barbarian or civilised, and by the end, we are made aware both of the short-comings of our heroes and of the humane generosity of the enemy ‘barbarians’. Mozart ‘s music gives us the courage to challenge our preconceptions and to revel in the challenge of coaxing beauty and humanity out of even the most challenging of situations.”

The Abduction from the Seraglio is sung in German with English subtitles.

The National Concert Hall Live-stream of The Abduction from The Seraglio by Mozart presented in association with Irish National Opera, is streamed on Saturday 5 December from Wexford Opera House. Tickets cost €15 and are available to purchase through Dice Tickets. The concert will be available to ticket holders for 48 hours following the performance.

Book Tickets here


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