Blog

01-18-2012

Meet the Cast of Mozart's Abduction

A New, 1920s Production of Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio Sparkles as a 1920s Spy Intrigue, Featuring Some of the Era's Most Famed Silent Films!

The Opera Company of Philadelphia is gearing up for the return of Mozart’s musical genius in a fresh, highly theatrical new co-production of The Abduction from the Seraglio this February! This comical tale of a Turkish ruler’s passionate pursuit of his beautiful young prisoner is brought to new life by Director Robert B. Driver and Italian designer Guia Buzzi – the team who brought OCP audiences a delightful double-bill of L'enfant et les sortilèges and Gianni Schicchi in 2009. The new co-production, created with Comunale di Treviso in Italy, sets the story in the 1920s, painting the resourceful heroine Konstanze as a spy, and Belmonte, her would-be rescuer, as a handsome pilot, brilliantly playing on the timeless human foibles that still make Mozart’s work ring true.

The Opera Company, long recognized as an engine for casting great operatic voices early in their careers, has handpicked an array of today’s most thrilling new artists to conquer Mozart’s daunting arias and stratospheric high notes. Discussing the casting process, which was done in collaboration between Philadelphia and Treviso, Artistic Director Robert Driver shared, “My artistic colleagues and I set out to audition the finest international cast both vocally and visually to help us realize the story in the most credible fashion possible."

“My artistic colleagues and I set out to audition the finest international cast both vocally and visually to help us realize the story in the most credible fashion possible."

Starring as Konstanze is Elizabeth Zharoff (left), whom Italy’s Revista magazine called “a singer with a beautiful scenic presence, of unquestionable vocal interest” at the premiere of this production. This Curtis Institute soprano makes her Opera Company of Philadelphia debut on the heels of recent performances as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Theater of St. Louis and appearances as Marguerite in Faust and the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen with Curtis Opera Theatre.

As her Belmonte, rising tenor Antonio Lozano (above right), who has sung roles at La Scala, Barcelona, and Valencia, among others, was lauded for his “warm, vibrant voice that gave Belmonte great passion.” He recently sang the role of Lindoro in The Italian Girl in Algiers in Oviedo and the role of Clistene in L’Olimpiade at Italy’s Pergolesi Festival. Soprano Elizabeth Reiter (reclining, right), who made her OCP debut as Amor in Orphée et Eurydice in 2009 and made a memorable impression as Aphrodite in Phaedra last June, sings the role of Blonde. The Curtis alumnus recently moved to Germany where she’s performed Ortlinde in Die Walküre and Annina in La Traviata with Oper Frankfurt Opera Studio. As Reiter’s accomplice, tenor Krystian Adam (right) makes his OCP debut as Pedrillo directly following an appearance at La Scala as Pisandro in Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria.

Two additional OCP debuts are in store, with Danish bass Per Bach Nissen as Osmin and Peter Dolder in the speaking role of Bassa Selim. Maestro Rovaris leads the Opera Company Orchestra in this new production that also features video design by Lorenzo Curone (L’enfant, ’09) and lighting by OCP veteran Drew Billiau.

Click here to learn more about Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio.