Opera Orlando presents the East Coast premiere of the Pacific Opera Project’s stunning production of Mozart’s legendary comic opera at 7:30 p.m. on May 31 and June 2 in the Plaza Live.
Debuted in July 1782, The Abduction From the Seraglio’s mixture of comic dialogue and inventive music (technically, this is called singspiel) caused it to be a major hit. It charmingly shocked the audiences of the day who revelled in the exotic reference to the mysterious and potent influences of the Ottoman Empire
But in 2018, the hero’s attempt to rescue his beloved from an ancient Turkish brothel is a far cry from the risqué situation it was 236 years ago. So, what to do? Go into the future of course … joining the five-year mission of the Starship Enterprise.
“Josh Shaw’s concept works so beautifully, because it reanimates characters from the original Star Trek television series, which aired 1966 to 1969,” said Gabriel Preisser, executive and artistic director of Opera Orlando. “The story revolves around Kirk, Spock, Klingons, and even the reptilian Gorn. The campy make-up and over-the-top acting from that era fold beautifully into Mozart’s original vision.”
Shaw, who conceived, rescripted, and directed the adaptation for Southern California’s Pacific Opera Project, will be the stage director for the two Opera Orlando performances. Four performers will reprise their roles in Florida: Captain James T. Belmonte (Kirk): tenor Brian Cheney; Mr. Pedrillo (Spock): tenor Robert Norman; Klingon Osmin: bass Andrew Potter; and Constanze (Uhuru): Brittany Renee Robinson. Regional favorite soprano Vanessa Rodriguez will perform the role of Blondie, now the seductive green woman from Star Trek’s pilot episode. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will perform, and all will be conducted by Opera Orlando’s music director Robin Jensen.
“I’ve been mightily impressed by all the efforts already put forward by Opera Orlando and their entire team,” said Shaw. “For me personally, I can hardly wait to see how Central Florida audiences will react to our ‘boldly’ wrought version of the Abduction. It’s going to be a ton of fun.”
Sponsors for the opera performances include the Orange County Cultural Affairs, United Arts of Central Florida, Fairwinds, the CNP Agency, Sundance Printing, and Sunburst Shutters.
Who: Opera Orlando; principal performers Brian Cheney, Robert Norman, Andrew Potter, Brittany Renee Robinson, and Vanessa Rodriguez; stage director Josh Shaw; and musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Robin Jensen
What: Mozart’s The Abduction From the Seraglio set in the near future as an episode of the original Star Trek television series. All will be sung and spoken in English.
When and Where: May 31 and June 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando, Florida
Tickets: $29-$59, on sale at OperaOrlando.org or by calling 407-512-1900.