Charles T. Downey, In Series and Bari Biern transport Mozart’s ‘Abduction from the Seraglio’ to the Wild West (Washington Post, September 10, 2013)
Abduction from the Seraglio
The In Series specializes in streamlined opera productions, re-imagined in English and often in new settings. Its latest production, ably directed by Tom Mallan, transfers most of the music of Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” to the American Wild West, in a new English adaptation by Bari Biern that opened at Source Theater on Sunday night.
Mozart, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, C. Schäfer, P. Petibon, I. Bostridge, Les Arts Florissants, W. Christie
Much ink has been spilled about directorial meddling with the story lines of operas. Purists demand fidelity to librettist and composer, while some directors take liberties to update or re-contextualize older works. Another way to approach the matter is through the less-understood historical phenomenon of the opera parody, in which works were satirized and mixed with popular tunes. Mozart’s “Abduction,” hardly a grand work for the ages, lends itself easily to the process. [Continue reading]
Based on the Singspiel by W. A. Mozart
One note, edited out of the review -- If you have to have your “Abduction” with Janissary clangs and whistles, you will be disappointed. The transcription of the score has no percussion.