Even though Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail is quite well known, it is not one of the composer’s most popular pieces. In the 2015/16 season, it was listed on the Operabase website as only the 27th most performed opera in the season.
The music of Entführung is very beautiful and despite being vocally demanding for the singers, the biggest challenge often faced with this opera is its staging. It is often considered difficult to find an exciting concept for the simple storyline, in which a young man tries to abduct his girlfriend from a Harem.
Fortunately, all of the Entführung productions I have been a part of, to date, have been well received, with Kassel being no exception. The opening night for the current production took place in June last year and was met with enthusiasm by both the public and the press. The modern approach by Adriana Altras has successfully maintained the integrity of the simplistic storyline without compromising its humour. Adriana is not only a stage director, but also a well known actress and writer in Germany and her autobiography, Titos Bille, has also been filmed.
Under the baton of young Maestra, Anja Bihlmaier, the Kassel ensemble and orchestra combine to make musically thrilling performances. Anja has a very promising career as an international conductor and is currently the Kappelmeister in Kassel.
The ensemble members of Staatstheater Kassel are invaluable and they make it very easy for me to get the most out of my role, Osmin.The following are some of my reviews as Osmin in this production in Kassel: “…stimmlich enorm beweglichen Bassisten Bjarni Thor Kristinsson als Osmin..”, “…Der Bass Bjarni Thor Kristinsson ist als Osmin in jeder Hinsicht eine Wucht…” and “…Hier versteht Osmin, von Bjarni Thor Kristinsson im Kaftan mit umwerfender Basskraft und komödiantischer Präsenz verkörpert, seinen Dienst…”
The last performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Kassel this season is on March 12th.