A total Entfuhrung
Singers and actors together on stage
Mozarts Opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail adapted by author-director Ramsey Nasr and composer Wim Henderickx.
Ramsey Nasr about Die Entführung aus dem serail:
"Die Entführung aus dem Serail" is set in the 'East', at the court of Bassa Selim, where a number of westerners have also arrived. The production draws on the writings and influence of Edward Said and his thinking on Orientalism - the image of the Easterner in the eyes of the West, which would have been the image that Mozart probably had about the 'Turk', who at the time of writing was gathering his armies at the gates of Vienna. Yet The Abduction from the Seraglio also gives a voice to the East: Bassa Selim and his servant Osmin have their opportunities to voice opinions about the Westerners, - Belmonte, Pedrillo, Konstanze and Blonde - and their views too are more often than not based equally on prejudice and false premise. In a sense, then, the piece is equally about Occidentalism, the theory put forward by thinkers like Buruma and Margalith, as a somewhat expected reaction to Said's writing on Orientalism.
Since I'm half Palestinian and half Dutch,some people probably do expect me to concentrate on the Oriental: a political piece about the Middle East, with an Arab orchestra dresseda s soldiers bringing some eastern promise to the story.Which in itself is reason enough not to fulfil that expectation. Though, for me, this piece is about something more important - The Abduction from the Seraglio isn't simply a fable about East and West, but also a way into looking at people as a whole. The opera may be partly about how we see each other, but also about how we see ourselves. We all take on something of how we think others see us. Mozart's piece is an attempt to seek out what is true and what fake, what is reality and what is fantasy."
A coproduction of deSingel & Vrede van Utrecht in collaboration with NT Gent.
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