Lynne Morrow, Chorus Director
Kevin Thompson, Bass
Festival Opera – Abduction From the Seraglio
Date: Monday, August 8, 2016
It’s Mozart with a Twist, as Festival Opera Gears Up For an Out-of-This-World 25th Anniversary!
Mozart’s Abduction From the Seraglio will be presented Friday, Saturday and Monday, August 5, 6 and 8, at 8:00 p.m., and on Tuesday, August 9, at 2:00 p.m., in the Regents’ Theatre, Valley Center for the Performing Arts, on the campus of Holy Names University in Oakland.
All performances are in English, with English supertitles. Regents’ Theatre is wheelchair and ADA accessible. For more information visit festivalopera.org.
The Opening Night Dinner will be at 5:30 pm in the Valley Center for the Performing Arts – the same building that houses the Regents’ Theater. Cost is $100 per person; tickets for the performance are additional, and must be purchased separately.
Menu choices include chicken, fish or vegetarian entrées. Wines are included for those 21 and up. Diners may also join Festival OperaSostenutoSociety members for complimentary intermission refreshments (included in dinner ticket).
Our special guests at the dinner will be stage director Josh Shaw. Please, join us and enjoy a perfect “meet and mingle” time before the show.
In its 25-year history, Festival Opera has been no stranger to stellar productions — but this time, we’re taking it literally.
In 1991, a new opera company took flight in Walnut Creek with an ambitious first production, Mozart’s Abduction From the Seraglio. Now it’s 25 years later, and to celebrate we’re returning to our roots and reaching for the stars. It’s still Mozart all right, but with a slightly revised libretto — in English — by stage director Josh Shaw, and you won’t want to miss any of the fun.
Follow the adventures of ‘Captain’ James T. Belmonte as he sets off on a mission to rescue his kidnapped crew members, ‘Lieutenant’ Constanza and ‘Mister’ Pedrillo, from an all-too-familiar set of villains. Please don’t tell anyone, but rumor has it that there may even be a Gorn lurking in the wings.
For all the futuristic fun, this is still classic opera, and Festival Opera has assembled a troupe that rises to the occasion. Musically, Oakland Symphony’s Maestro Michael Morgan will conduct the Festival Opera Orchestra, supported by the Festival Opera Chorus. The ensemble of vocal artists features tenor Brian Cheney as Belmonte, soprano Shawnette Sulker as Constanza, tenor Robert Norman as Pedrillo, and soprano Sara Duchovnay as Blondie. Bass Kevin Thompson is Osmin, the grumpy overseer of the seraglio.
Josh Shaw’s creative re-imagination of Mozart’s tale of the harem was sparked by a single word: “The idea came from the word “Abduction,” he says. “That got me thinking about “alien abduction…” After doing some research, a vision emerged, and a distinctive new take on a familiar classic made its debut at the Southern Illinois Music Festival in 2014. It was an immediate hit, and the innovative staging has subsequently delighted audiences in Los Angeles, Chattanooga, and San Antonio. Festival Opera’s August production will be the fifth presentation of Abduction From the Seraglio as a parody of Star Trek, and promises to once again prove popular both with fans of traditional opera and Trekkies alike.