by Paula Citron
The Abduction from the Seraglio
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by Marshall Pynkoski
Choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse-Zingg
Conducted by David Fallis
Starring Amanda Pabyan, Frédéric Antoun, Carla Huhtanen, Lawrence Wiliford, Gustav Andreassen, Curtis Sullivan, Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Choir
At the Elgin Theatre until Nov. 15
Opera Atelier productions are of consistently high quality. If brilliance were not there, that would be the exception.
This period-specific company has transformed Mozart’s 1782 megahit The Abduction from the Seraglio into a rollicking commedia dall’arte farce. Director Marshall Pynkoski, choreographer Jeannette Lajeunesse-Zingg and conductor David Fallis have collectively ensured a zesty pace and lots of laughs. Gerard Gauci’s sets and Margaret Lamb’s costumes have been mostly cannibalized from Armide, but work well.
The glory of the production is the top-notch singing actors, plus Tafelmusik’s superb musicians and chamber choir. Tenor Frédéric Antoun is outstanding as Belmonte, as is bass Gustav Andreassen as Osmin. Not far behind are soprano Amanda Pabyan as Konstanze and soprano Carla Huhtanen as Blonde. Tenor Lawrence Wiliford as Predillo is a bit light voiced but acts up a storm. Curtis Sullivan in the speaking role of Pasha Selim is perfect.
The Abduction from the Seraglio continues at the Elgin Theatre until Nov. 15.