6ABC Loves The Arts
Abduction from the Seraglio at the Academy
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - February 12, 2012 (WPVI) -- Mozart is moving into the 20th century at the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
It's Mozart's comic romp, Abduction from the Seraglio, but instead of setting it in the 18th century, this tale takes place right after World War I and it pays homage to the early Hollywood era of silent pictures.
When Mozart wrote the opera in 1782, rescue operas were all the rage. In this one, the beautiful Konstanze is kidnapped by pirates, taken to Turkey and forced into a harem.
'Well that's all very fine for 18th century but I wanted to make it now, more modern," said Robert Driver, Director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Director Robert Driver updated the story and made Konstanze a British spy.
Elizabeth Zharoff, 'Konstanze, ' Abduction from the Seraglio says, "She's in Turkey spying on the Pasha and she gets caught and the production is about how Belmonte, her Spanish lover, comes and steals her away."
Driver adds, "So you see them having a tete-a-tete in an Istanbul nightclub and in the back are the films of Mata Hari and all of these wonderful old films of intrigue and silent films so we use silent films throughout it."
For Elizabeth Zharoff, a master's student at the Curtis Institute, it is her first lead role with a major opera company.
"This opera is fantastic to see because there are vocal fireworks left and right. These roles are so difficult to sing and it's really impressive to hear them sung. I think it will be epic," Zharoff said.The Opera opens February 17th at the Academy of Music. For tickets and show times, go to Opera Company of Philadelphia.
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