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Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) DE - 1782 2*
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756 - 1791 AT 3*
Singspiel : Comic or romantic entertainment combining spoken dialogue, ensembles, folk-coloured ballads and arias.
Synopsis - Roles - Arias
German libretto - English translation - Spanish translation
Upcoming Performances
Background Facts - Top
  • The Emperor Joseph II, who commissioned the creation the opera, complained to Mozart 'That is too fine for my ears — there are too many notes.' Mozart replied, 'There are just as many notes as there should be.'
  • Often thought of as the first of Mozart's comic masterpieces, this work is frequently performed today.
Synopsis - Top
Act 1
Belmonte seeks everywhere his betrothed, Konstanze, who with her English servant Blonde has fallen into the hands of pirates who sold them to the Pasha Selim (Aria: "Here shall I see you, Konstanze, you my hope.") Osmin, the Pasha's bad-tempered servant, comes to pluck figs in the garden and completely ignores Belmonte's questions (Aria: "Who a love has found.") Belmonte tries to obtain news of his servant, Pedrillo, who has been captured with the women and is serving as a servant in the Pasha's palace. Osmin replies with insults and abuse. (Duet: "Confounded be you and your song.") Belmonte leaves in disgust. Pedrillo enters and Osmin rages at him, vowing to get him tortured and killed in many different ways. ("Such ragamuffins.") Osmin leaves and Belmonte enters and happily reunites with Pedrillo. Together they resolve to rescue Konstanze and Pedrillo's fiancee, Blonde, who is Konstanze's servant. (Aria: "Konstanze, Konstanze, to see thee again").
Accompanied by a chorus of Janissaries ("Sing to the great Pasha") the Pasha Selim appears with Konstanze, for whose love he strives in vain. (Aria of Konstanze: "O forgive! Oh, I loved") Pedrillo tricks the Pasha into hiring Belmonte as an architect. When Belmonte and Pedrillo try to enter the palace, Osmin bars their way, but they hurry past him anyway. (Terzett: "March! March! March!")

Act 2
Blonde repulses the rough lovemaking attempts of Osmin (Aria: "By tenderness and flattery."), and threatens to scratch out his eyes. After a duet ("I'm going, but I warn you...."), Osmin departs. Konstanze greets Blonde in distress (Aria: "Sorrow has become my lot"), informing her that Selim demands her love and threatens to use force. (Aria: "This also will I bear.") When she has gone, Pedrillo comes to Blonde, who is his sweetheart, and informs her that Belmonte has come and is planning to rescue them. Blonde is filled with joy. (Aria: "What happiness, what delight.") Pedrillo invites Osmin to drink, hoping that he will become intoxicated. (Duet: "Vivat Bacchus!") When Osmin has drunk himself into a stupor, the two couples reunite. (Quartet, Belmonte, Konstanze, Pedrillo, Blonde: "Oh, Belmonte, oh my life.") Belmonte and Pedrillo both question anxiously whether their respective fiancees have remained faithful during their forced separation; to their delight the women respond with indignation and dismay. They forgive the offensive questions and the curtain falls.

Act 3
Belmonte and Pedrillo come to the garden with ladders. (Aria, Belmonte: "When the tears of joy do fall"; Romanze, Pedrillo: "Captive in the land of the Moors.") However, they and the women are caught by Osmin, who rouses the castle (Aria: "Ho, how I will triumph"). Belmonte pleads for their lives and tells Selim Pasha that his father is a Spanish Grandee and Governor of Oran, named Lostados, who will pay a generous ransom. Unfortunately, Pasha Selim and Lostados are long-standing enemies. The Pasha rejoices in the opportunity to kill his enemy's son. He leaves Belmonte and Konstanze to bid each other a last farewell (Duet: "Oh what a fate, oh soul's misery."), but when he returns, he decides he can make a better point against Lostados by releasing Belmonte and his friends. All are set at liberty — much to the dismay of Osmin, who would prefer to see them all brutally executed. (Finale: "Never will I thy kindness forget.")
Roles - Top
BelmonteTenorM-M Spanish nobleman
KonstanzeSopranoF-H Betrothed to Belmonte
BlondeSopranoF-H Konstanze's English maid
PedrilloTenorM-M Belmonte's servant
OsminBassM-VL Overseer for the Pasha
Selim Bassa The Pasha
Arias - Top
Act 1: Scn 1: Hier soll ich dich denn sehen (Here shall I see you, Konstanze, you my hope.)
Scn 2: Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden (He who has found a sweetheart.)
Scn 3: Solche hergelaufne Laffen (Such ragamuffins)
Scn 5: Konstanze, Konstanze, dich wiederzusehen. (Konstanze, Konstanze, to see thee again)
Scn 6: Singt dem grossen Bassa Lieder (Sing to the mighty Pasha Selim)
Scn 7: Ach ich liebte, war so glücklich (How I loved him, I was happy)
Scn 10: Marsch! Marsch! Marsch! Trollt euch fort! (March! March! March! Off you go)
Act 2: Scn 1: Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln (By tenderness and flattery)
Ich gehe, doch rate ich dir (I'm going, but mark what I say)
Scn 2: Welcher Wechsel herrscht... Traurigkeit ward mir zum Lose (Sorrow has become my lot)
Scn 3: Martern aller Arten mögen meiner warten (Tortures unrelenting may for me be waiting)
Scn 6: Welche Wonne, welche Lust (What happiness, what delight)
Scn 7: Frisch zum Kampfe! (Now to battle!)
Scn 8: Vivat Bacchus! Bacchus lebe! (Here's to Bacchus, long live Bacchus)
Act 3: Scn 1: Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen (When the tears of joy do fall)
Ach Belmonte! ach, mein Leben! (Ah, Belmonte, ah my dear one!)
Scn 3: Ich baue ganz auf deine Stärke (Love, only love, can now direct me)
Scn 4: In Mohrenland gefangen war ein Mädel (In Moorish lands a maiden fair)
Scn 5: O wie will ich triumphieren (Ho, how I will triumph - Osmin's Aria) 1*
Scn 7: Welch ein Geschick! O Qual der Seele! (What dreadful fate conspires against us)
Scn 9: Nie werd' ich deine Huld verkennen (Your noble mercy passes measure)