The 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth was celebrated earlier this year. Mozart wrote 22 operas in his short life, dying at the age of 35. Written in Vienna when the composer was 25, Die Entführung aus dem Serail soon became his greatest operatic success outside that city. This is its first production in Iceland.
The opera opens with the arrival of the Spanish nobleman Belmonte at the country residence of the Turkish Pasha, Selim, to try to secure the release of his fiancée, Constanze and her maid, Blondchen, and his servant Pedrillo. He manages, in disguise, to gain admittance to the palace and there is a joyful reunion between the lovers; however, just as the group are about to escape, Selim discovers Belmonte’s real identity. Belmonte is the son of his deadly enemy, and his first inclination is to have them all executed. However, when he sees how steadfast their love is, and their fearlessness in the face of death, he is moved to compassion and he nobly decides to spare their lives and set them free, to the chagrin of his sadistic overseer Osmin. The opera ends with a song of praise.