August Everding staged Mozart's Singspiel "Die Entführung aus dem Serail"
(The Abduction from the Seraglio) in Munich's National Theater as a sunny
comic opera but, as the director says, one with the "depth" required by
Mozart. The buffo characters, for instance, take on compellingly human
traits. The stage consists of a bright, orientally suggestive architecture,
whose elements are constantly sliding or revolving. The set designer Max
Bignens speaks of a "choreographic" setting: "For Mozart's music, we wanted
nothing heavy and, above all, no major scene changes." Karl Böhm, who
conducted his first "Entführung" in 1924, plunges into the depths of the
music and uncovers its magic and brilliance, its eros and spirituality. At
the center of the performance is Edita Gruberova, whose coloraturas are
dazzling and always precise. As Osmin, Martti Talvela is a supple, shifty
swaggerer. Thomas Holtzmann speaks the Bassa Selim as a nervous, passionate
potentate. Francisco Araiza sings Belmonte with glowing lyricism. Norbert
Orth is a spirited Pedrillo and Reri Grist a Blondchen with a natural charm
and musical sensitivity.