Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'
Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv July 10.
Concluding the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's 70th season, this production of Mozart's brilliant singspiel The Abduction from the Seraglio provided many moments of sheer fun.
Only semi-staged, the production was full of surprises, and kept the audience amused throughout the evening. Performed in modern costume, the production was superb and strikingly different from more traditional stagings, particularly when Chen Reiss, as Blonde, sings in a bathing suit, her lyrics condemning men insufficiently respectful of women. The scene, which probably didn't please more traditionally-minded audience members, generated immediate enthusiasm among other viewers, who couldn't help but pick up on parallels with current news stories about former President Moshe Katsav.
The music itself was well peformed, but - as should be expected when Zubin Mehta is conducting - it was also rather traditional in terms of interpretation.
Most notable among the soloists was the hilarious Kurt Rydl (Osmin), who stood out both vocally and with his acting. As Konstanze, Ingrid Kaiserfeld provided an effective vocal presence but proved more limited in the non-musical elements of her role. Andreas Scheidegger, as Pedrillo, brought life to his energetic character with a polished, professional voice.
Thanks to staging by director Aron Stiehl, the IPO's final production of the season offers a number of moments of joy, so long as viewers don't expect it to provide an inventive musical interpretation of Mozart's work.