THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO Student Guide | Opera Company of Philadelphia

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Opera Company of Philadelphia and The School District of Philadelphia Present

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s

The Abduction from the Seraglio Final Dress Rehearsal Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 6:15 p.m. at the Academy of Music


A Family Guide to

The Opera Company of Philadelphia believes the family is the most important foundation to learning. Let your kitchen table become a classroom where your children can build their knowledge of opera and the humanities. As you join in the teaching and learning process with your children, watch their eyes sparkle. Opera is a communal celebration, so too should be your children’s education. Pennsylvania’s standards in education call for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do and children need to share what they have discovered or learned. Thus, the title of our program is Sounds of Learning™. It reflects our belief that children must actively be engaged in sharing ideas. The Sounds of Learning™ workbook and teacher guide will integrate with the local core literacy curriculum in many ways. Just as opera is a uniquely integrated art, combining orchestra, voice, literature, drama, and dance, Sounds of Learning™ is an interdisciplinary, student-centered program. The goal of the Active Learning sections is to have your children engaged in the process of selfteaching. They will be able to show how they have gained insights into their learning by drawing, writing, and discussing the issues most relevant to them. In this way, students demonstrate what they can do with what they know. In reading the libretto, or script, we suggest that you and your family members take turns reading particular roles. Dr. Ellen Winner of Harvard’s Project Zero found that “drama helps to build verbal skills that transfer to new materials,” and helps improve not only students’ reading skills but also “oral and written language development.” (Journal of Aesthetic Education, v34, #3/4, Fall/Winter, 2000.) In preparing for the opera, we suggest you purchase one of EMI Classics’s excellent audio or video recordings of this opera. We are grateful to EMI Classics for offering us their libretti for use in our program. Together, we hope to build future audiences for, and performers of, the arts. Visit EMI on the web at

Goals and Objectives of Sounds of Learning™ • Improve literacy achievement by using the opera’s libretto to teach lessons across the curriculum • Understand the plot, characters, and their motivations of the opera • Learn something about the composer and others involved in writing the opera • Make a connection to the historic and social context of the story • Know some key musical elements, recognize certain melodies, differentiate between voices • Understand the role music plays in expressing emotions and heightening the dramatic experience • Understand the various elements of producing opera and the functions of those involved; e.g. conductor, director, set designer, technical crew, etc. • Develop the ability to make inferences about the opera, production, and performance • Relate incidents in the opera to those of the present day

Best Practices in Arts Education is sponsored by Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Table of

Contents Opera 101: Getting Ready for the Opera 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Opera Company of Philadelphia Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Tips for Your Trip Opera - Online! The Language of Opera Opera’s Roadmap The Then and Now of Opera

Relating Opera to History: The Culture Connection 10 11 12 13

The Man Behind the Music: W. A. Mozart What in the World? A Timeline of Important Events Life in the Harem The Women of the Age of Enlightenment

Libretto and Production Information 14 13 14

Mozart Brings the Turkish Craze to the Stage The Abduction from the Seraglio: Synopsis The Abduction from the Seraglio: Libretto Not included in the online download. To obtain a free copy of the libretto, visit

Additional Lessons 31 32 34 35 36 37 38


Lights, Camera, Action: Hollywood in the 1920s GAME: The Abduction from the Seraglio Crossword Puzzle Sequence of the Story Make Your Own Synopsis Recognizing Facts and Opinions Supporting Your Opinions Conflicts and Loves in The Abduction from the Seraglio


Check out our website for additional content! Here you’ll find more information on the opera, its themes, lessons, and links to even more fascinating material. See page 5 for more details.


Opera Company of Philadelphia To do this we hire the best stage designers. Sets might be built in the Company’s Production Center in the Tacony area of Philadelphia. Sometimes the Opera Company partners with another company to create sets and costumes, or rents a production from another company.

Right: Soprano Ermonela Jaho and tenor Roger Honeywell in Jun Kaneko’s stylized production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Below: Tenor William Burden stars as Hippolyt in Hans Werner Henze’s Phaedra. Photos: Kelly & Massa Photography

For over 30 years the Opera Company of Philadelphia has brought audiences outstanding production quality, artistry and educational opportunities. A strong blend of traditional and innovative programming will continue to ensure the excitement of opera in Philadelphia. Each season over 5,000 students from the Philadelphia area attend an opera through the Sounds of Learning™ program. The Company also hosts community recitals and lectures, internet events, and more. Opera has played a vital part in Philadelphia’s history. The first known opera staged in Philadelphia was Midas in 1769. Since then, opera has been so popular here that there have been several opera companies in the city at the same time! The Opera Company of Philadelphia was created when the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company and the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company joined in 1975. Since then, the Opera Company of Philadelphia has continued the city’s operatic traditions.

The Opera Company also supports creating new American operas. In recent seasons five new operas have been seen at OCP: Margaret Garner by Richard Danielpour, Cyrano by David DiChiera, Ainadamar by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov, and Phaedra by Hans Werner Henze. Tea: A Mirror of Soul by Chinese composer Tan Dun, of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon fame, had its East Coast premiere at OCP in February 2010. 2. Find the best young, up-and-coming singers and give them the chance to perform with some of the best professionals in the world. We find the brightest young singers in our own backyard at two of the best opera schools in the world - The Curtis Institute of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts. Singers from both schools have sung right along side stars like Lawrence Brownlee and Nathan Gunn. 3. Create informative student and adult programs that will introduce opera to newcomers, and enjoyment to both long-time and new opera fans.

Each season, the Opera Company presents five different operas with singers from all over the world. Three of the operas are given in the beautiful, large-scale Academy of Music. With just under 2,900 seats, the Academy is the Opera Company’s home for grand opera. Two smaller, more intimate operas are staged in the Perelman Theater. Located in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Perelman Theater has only 600 seats, making it the perfect venue for chamber and modern operas. Today, the Opera Company’s mission, or core purpose, is three-fold: 1. Deliver outstanding productions of classic operas, giving them in original and cutting-edge ways, and create exciting new operas that people in Philadelphia’s diverse communities will like.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Find out more about the Opera Company of Philadelphia at our website:

2. Check out for a ton of information about the history of opera in Philadelphia.


Academy of Music You will attend the opera at Philadelphia’s Academy of President Franklin Pierce Music, which is the country’s 1804-1869 oldest grand opera house still used for its original purpose - performing opera! It is a very grand opera house with a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Its four-level design was based on the famous La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy. Finding the money to build an opera house in Philadelphia was difficult, but enough money was raised by 1854. On October 13th a plot of land was bought on the corner of Broad and Locust Streets to build the opera house. In the fall of 1854 fifteen architects entered a competition to see who would design the Academy. On February 12, 1855, the team of Gustav Rungé and Napoleon le Brun won the contest, which included a $400 prize, or about $150,000 today! Within four months, the ground-breaking took place. The project was so important that President Franklin Pierce, along with the governor and mayor, laid the cornerstone on July 26, 1855. The Academy opened on January 26, 1857 with a Grand Ball and Promenade Concert. The first opera presented in the brand new opera house was Giuseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore on February 25, 1857. Two of many operatic highlights throughout the theater’s history include the American premiere of Charles Gounod’s opera Faust on November 18, 1863 and a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on February 14, 1907, with the composer in attendance. Numerous presidents have visited the Academy, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon. Prince Charles of Wales visited the Academy in 2007. Thousands of world-famous performers have also appeared on its stage, like Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, George Gershwin, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, Marian Anderson, Maria Callas, and Luciano Pavarotti. The Academy was made a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1963. Since that time, a few improvements have been made to its structure. The “Twenty-First Century Project”, begun in 1996, replaced the stage floor, rigging system, and restored the historic ceiling. During 2008, the famous

The Academy of Music’s restored chandelier. Photo by Michael Bolton

chandelier was rebuilt to how it looked in 1857. All of these renovations have helped the Academy remain as grand as ever. We hope you find it grand as well!

Academy of Music Facts ›

The auditorium seats 2,897; 14 columns support the Academy’s tiers; the auditorium is encased within a three foot thick solid brick wall.

The Academy Chandelier is 25 feet high, 50 feet in circumference, almost 17 feet in diameter, and 3,500 pounds in weight. It has 23,000 crystals on it, which, if laid out, could reach from Broad Street to Rittenhouse Square and back.

The red and gold pattern on the Academy’s stage curtain simulates that of a pineapple, a Victorian-era symbol for “welcome.”

The first-ever indoor football game was held on the Academy’s Parquet level on March 7, 1889 between the University of Pennsylvania and Riverton Club of Princeton. At halftime, tug-of-war matches were held as entertainment.

1,600 people attended the first-ever motion picture screening on February 5, 1870. The audience saw a couple dancing, a gymnastics routine and more during the silent film.

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Air conditioning was installed in 1959.

There was no elevator for the general public in the Academy until 1990!

For more information on the Academy of Music, go to the library and take out Within These Walls, by John Francis Marion or go online to



Tips for Your Trip

There’s nothing as exciting as attending an opera in the Academy of Music. You’ll be a guest at the final dress rehearsal of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio. Here’s what you’ll need to know about attending the opera! You may notice several computer monitors and a large table spread out over the seats in the center of the first floor of the auditorium. Seated in this area is the production team: Director, Assistant Director, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, and Set Designer, among others. They’ll be taking notes and communicating via headsets with the many people backstage who help make all of the operatic magic happen. They’ll be able to talk to the crew so changes can be made right away. Should things goes wrong, the rehearsal might be stopped or a part repeated to make sure that it is perfect.

ACTIVE LEARNING The picture on this page shows several patrons and famous opera characters on their way to attend an opera at the theater. Now picture yourself in their shoes. On a separate piece of paper, write a story as if you are one of these people. Think about your trip to the performance. What will the opera be like? You may want to mention going to the Academy of Music or attending the opera. What will you wear? How will you and your classmates act? At what time will you meet your classmates? How many classmates will attend? Will you have a special dinner before the opera? If so, where? Will the opera be exciting and entertaining? Share your thoughts here and compare your stories with your classmates.

Here’s a list of DOs and DON’Ts so that everyone in the theater can enjoy the opera:

SHOW SOME R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Unlike actors on television or in the movies, performers onstage are very aware of the audience. They want to share their love of performing with you. Everything you do in the audience affects what happens on stage. You can show them how much you appreciate their work and the opportunity to come to the rehearsal by being as quiet as possible. Show your respect for the cast, musicians, the production team, and everyone in the theater by not talking. Give the artists and the production your full attention!

Please Do...

the bathrooms before the rehearsal begins or › atUse intermission. › Enter and exit the theater in an orderly fashion. › Turn off your cell phones and all electronic devices. Applaud after the arias; you can shout “Bravo!” for the › men and “Brava!” for the women. the rehearsal. You’ve worked too hard preparing › forEnjoy the rehearsal not to!

› › › › › › ›

Don’t Forget... No food, gum or beverages are allowed inside the theater. Photographs or video footage may not be taken during the performance. No talking or whispering during the performance. No shoving, jumping, running, or spitting in the theater. Please obey the theater ushers and staff. Keep all objects to yourself. If you throw something, you might hurt someone and cause a disruption in the rehearsal. It is grounds for removal from the auditorium. MAKE YOUR SCHOOL PROUD!

Opera Online! You might study music in your schools or take lessons privately. But where do you go if you want to learn more about The Abduction from the Seraglio, opera singers, opera-related topics and experience opera more frequently? Visit OCP’s website at: Here you can find more information about The Abduction from the Seraglio and all the operas presented by the Opera Company, for FREE!

Opera Right in Your Email Inbox! Another great way to learn more is to sign up for the free weekly Sounds of Learning™ email list. Email your name, school and age to and each week we’ll send you an opera video “clip of the week” with famous opera singers singing great arias and ensembles all throughout the summer. Some will be funny, some will be thrilling, some will be dramatic, and all will be exciting! Also included in the email will be the website of the week. We’ll feature links to singers’ websites, music links, other great music and opera websites. You can build a whole library of video clips to go back to again and again! Share the clips and links with your family and friends.

Sounds of Learning™ Student Blog Don’t forget to check out our Sounds of Learning™ blog at The blog will allow you to discuss the opera with students throughout the tri-state area! Log onto the blog and share your thoughts and views about the opera, the music, the set, the singers, the Academy of Music, coming to center city Philadelphia, the email list “clip of the week” and more! Other students participating in Sounds of Learning™ from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware want to hear what you have to say! Post your comments by going to:

Behind-the-Scenes Photos See photos of the singers in rehearsal on our website: and click on the “Behind the Scenes” link in the lower right corner of the screen. Check out this area to see how a production develops from the first day of rehearsal to opening night!

Also, you can download extra copies of the Sounds of Learning™ guide and past guides from this page as well. All of this content is provided for free! If you’re online, check out our facebook, twitter and YouTube pages. Just search for Opera Company of Philadelphia!



The Language of Opera Act - main sections of a play or opera Aria - a solo song sung in an opera

Audience - people who watch a performance and sit in the “house� or auditorium Ballet - dance set to music within in an opera

Blocking - action on stage Character - person who is part of the opera’s story Chorus - music composed for a group of singers or the name of a group of singers in an opera Conductor - person who rehearses and leads the orchestra Duet - a song performed by 2 singers Orchestra - a group of musicians who play together on various musical instruments Overture - a piece of instrumental music played at the beginning of an opera Program - booklet that contains information about the opera, composer, performers, the opera company, and includes advertisements Recitative - words that are sung in the rhythm of natural speech - a bit like the 18th century version of rap

Rehearsal - time when singers/actors practice with or without the orchestra; time when musicians practice together with the conductor Scene - segments of action within the acts of an opera Types of Singers: Soprano - highest pitched female voice Mezzo-soprano - lower pitched female voice Tenor - highest pitched male voice

Baritone - male voice between tenor and bass Bass - lowest pitched male voice

Opera’s Roadmap


An opera tells a story by taking you on a musical journey. Like a class trip or vacation, this journey can be separated into land marks and pit stops. Although every opera is different, they all follow a similar road map. Use the Opera Map Directions below with the Conductor Map on the lower right to trace this musical journey.

Opera Map Directions 1. Head to the overture. Before the curtain comes up the orchestra plays the overture. The overture is the musical introduction to the opera. It will often have melodies in it that you might hear during the opera.

2. Continue straight to Act I. After the overture the curtain will rise, and various characters will appear, signaling the start of the opera. Once the opera begins the map begins to vary. Depending on the opera, the music could go one of four ways. Be on the lookout for arias, duets, trios, quartets, choruses, and recitatives. An aria is a solo piece of music sung by one person and is a bit like a monologue in a play. During it the character might reflect on his or her emotions, or it can give the singer a chance to show off, too!

5. Continue straight across to the Finale. The finale is the last musical piece in the opera and is often sung by the entire cast. Some operas have a big finale for each act. After the finale the curtain goes down. 6. You have arrived at the Curtain Call. The curtain call occurs at the very end of the opera. The curtain will come back up and the chorus, dancers, individual singers, and orchestra will be recognized for their work. The audience shows their appreciation for the show by clapping or shouting “Bravo!”, “Brava!”, or “Bravissimo!!”

OVERTURE The musical introduction played by the orchestra.


Duets, trios and quartets are moments when 2-4 characters sing together to express their emotions or further the action of the drama. These ensembles grow to include the whole cast and chorus! The chorus is a section sung by a group of people who are not solo singers. The chorus can sing on stage or off stage. It sometimes sings in the background of an aria or scene. Recitative is a section of music where the opera singer’s singing becomes quick and almost speech-like. Recitative helps move the story along between arias, choruses, and duets. Often the orchestra’s accompaniment will be minimal under the singer.

3. Make a left at the Intermission. The intermission is a 1525 minute break in the performance when the audience can stretch or use the bathroom. It allows the stage crew to change the scenery for the next act and the singers to change costumes.

4. Continue straight to Act II. The next act uses the same elements as Act I to continue the story (arias, choruses, ensembles, and recitatives). Operas may have several acts and intermissions. In some operas there are four intermissions and five acts!


ACT I A group of scenes with a common theme. Intermission

ACT II A group of scenes that continues the story from Act I. Act II has the same musical elements as Act I (chorus, recitative, etc.).

FINALE The last piece of music performed in the opera.

CURTAIN CALL After the curtain closes, the cast and the orchestra stand and take a bow. The audience shows their appreciation by clapping or yelling "Bravo!"

LE ENSEMBio, Duet, Tr or Quartet


The Then and Now of



Theatrical performances that use music, song and dance to tell a story can be found in many cultures. Opera is just one example of music drama. Have you ever wondered where opera got its start? Back in the late 1500s during the height of the Renaissance, a group of men called the Florentine Camerata got together to create a new and moving theatrical experience. They wanted to recreate what the ancient Greeks did during their legendary dramas. The result was something entirely new – opera! Most of the early operas were based on Greek myths. The first opera that we know of was called Dafne by Jacopo Peri in 1598, but the most famous opera of this early period that is still performed today is Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607). Certain basic ingredients were included in opera: songs, instrumental accompaniments, costumes, dance, and scenery. We still use all of these ingredients today! The early operas were first performed in the grand courts of Italian nobility, but soon opera became popular with the public, too. As it became all the rage, productions became more lavish! Soon, theaters began to be built just to mount operas.

Top: mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose as the hero in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice; Above: Prisoners in their cells in Jun Kaneko’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

These theaters had elaborate stage machinery to create special effects like flying actors Claudio Monteverdi or crumbling buildings. Not 1567-1643 everyone embraced the new form of theater. Some critics thought that all of the stage antics in opera detracted from the music and drama. Some people even believed that seeing too much comedy in opera could make you immoral! During the Baroque period (about 1600 to 1750), Italian opera spread all over Europe. The Italian style of opera was so popular that even non-Italians wrote in this style. For example George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1759) was a German-born composer who lived and worked in England. His operas, like Julius Caesar (1724), were written in the Italian language and used an Italian style of music. The only nation to create its’ own national operatic style was France. Ballet played a large role in the French culture, and operas often included ballets in the middle of the opera. The most famous French Baroque opera composers were JeanBaptiste Lully (1632-1687) and Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683 - 1764). The eighteenth century was full of change for both Europe and opera. This time period was known as the Age of Enlightenment. People were starting to talk about new forms of government and organization in society, especially the ever-growing middle class. Music displayed this new thinking as composers dropped the Baroque era’s complicated musical style for simpler, more emotional music. In less-flashy music, characters could express their thoughts and feelings more believably. One of the first operas to use this new style was Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (1762). In 1776 the American Revolution changed the world. A few years later the French had their own revolution (1789) and the first modern democracies were born. To match the times in which they were created, audiences wanted to see characters like themselves on stage, not gods and goddesses. They also wanted to see issues that were important to them. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786) featured a timely story of aristocratic class struggles that had both servants and nobility in lead roles. The ideals of the Enlightenment also came to the stage in Ludwig van Beethoven‘s only opera, Fidelio, a story about equality and freedom.

absurd (The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky, 1951). American opera had a huge hit with George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (1935) which included jazz and blues musical styles. Not only did American composers embrace popular music in opera but also a repetitive, hypnotic style called minimalism. American composer Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach (1976) is the popular example of minimalism in opera.

In the 1800s opera continued to grow. The Italian tradition continued in the bel canto movement, which literally translates to “beautiful singing”. These operas asked performers to sing complicated groups of fast notes in the melodies. The most famous bel canto composers were Gioacchino Rossini (1792 –1868), Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848), and Vincenzo Bellini (1801 –1835). Their operas, like Rossini’s popular comedies The Barber of Seville (1816) and Cinderella (1817), are still some of the most popular operas performed today. By the middle of the century, the Romantic Movement led many composers to champion their own national identities. As a result, operas in languages other than Italian became more common; new works often reflected pride in a country’s people, history, and folklore. German operas like Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (1821), Russian operas like Mikhail Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar (1836) and French operas like Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots (1836) started to be performed across Europe. By using nationalism in his operas like Nabucco (1842), Italian Giuseppe Verdi became a national hero. In Germany Richard Wagner took Romanticism to the extreme in a four-part operatic miniseries based on Norse mythology, The Ring of the Nibelung (1876), which takes over 15 hours to perform! The operatic stereotype of the singer in the Viking helmet comes from these operas. Opera in twentieth century became even more experimental. Composers like Giacomo Puccini (La bohème, 1896), Claude Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande, 1902), Richard Strauss (Salome, 1905), and Benjamin Britten (Peter Grimes, 1945) evolved their national styles. Others, horrified by the destruction of World War I (1914-1919) and other aspects of modern life, created music that was new and drastically dissonant. These operas often explored either dark psychological topics (Wozzeck by Alban Berg, 1925), or simple and

Today, opera is still growing and expanding. The Opera Company of Philadelphia helps to shape the future of opera by producing important new works like Richard Danielpour and Toni Morrison’s slaveryinspired Margaret Garner (2005), Osvaldo Golijov’s flamenco-themed Ainadamar (2003), and Hans Werner Henze’s Phaedra (2007), which interprets Greek mythology through the eyes of a World War II survivor. This year the Opera Company of Philadelphia is proud to present Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters (2011) which is set in the American Southwest explores the lives of a group of women who live in a polygamist community. Although opera is one of the oldest musical art forms, it still remains and expands today. From the old favorites to the new experimental works opera continues to be a moving art form of the people.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Chose a composer noted above and research two other operas by that composer.

2. Can you find the story of the Greek myth Daphne? 3. How did Lully die? 4. What does the acronym Verdi stand for in the phrase Viva Verdi?


Visit the Opera Roadmap on page 7 to learn more about opera.

9 Right: the cast of Rossini’s Cinderella; Below: Puccini’s loveable bohemians; Bottom: Denyce Graves and Gregg Baker in Danielpour and Morrison’s Margaret Garner.

The Man Behind the Music:


Maria Anna Mozart 1720 – 1778

Empress Maria Theresa 1717 – 1780

Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 – 1809

The Mozart family: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (seated at piano) with his sister Maria Anna (left) and his parents, Leopold and Anna Maria; oil on canvas by Johann Nepomuk della Croce, c. 1780–81

W. A. Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Vienna, Austria. He was the youngest of seven children born to Leopold and Maria Anna Mozart, though only he and the fourth child, also named Maria Anna (“Nannerl”) survived into adulthood. Mozart’s family was not very wealthy, and they lived on the third floor of a building owned by the grocery store owner. Leopold had originally pursued a theological education, but gave that up in favor of the violin. Leopold taught his children on his own, in math, reading, writing, literature, language, dance, and of course, music. Wolfgang’s musical talent was quickly apparent, as his father noted that he had learned a number of musical pieces by the age of 4, and by 5 had already composed a few minuets. Both Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl traveled at a young age, displaying their musical talents for royalty and other important people. After performing before the Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa in September 1762, the royal family gave the Mozarts a substantial sum of money. They were invited to play at Versailles and to extend their stay at court. This was how Wolfgang spent the bulk of his childhood; touring Europe and giving private concerts with his father and sister for wealthy patrons. During the tours, Wolfgang met some of the greatest musicians of the time, including Franz Joseph Haydn, who was so impressed with the young Mozart that he said, “By God, your son is the most gifted composer living.” The Mozarts returned to Salzburg, Austria in 1771. Wolfgang was 15 and could no longer be billed as a “child prodigy”. A change in local government led to cut-backs in court-sponsored music and shorter church masses, for which Wolfgang would write music. During this period, Wolfgang continued to

compose and managed to earn enough money so the family could move out of their third floor apartment into a much larger place. In 1778, Mozart and his mother were in Paris, where Mozart had employment. His mother fell ill and died that summer, while Leopold was still in Salzburg. The tragedy strained his relationship with his father, and Wolfgang made a slow trip home to Austria. By 1780, Wolfgang had established himself in Vienna, where some of his greatest compositions were completed. His first important mature opera still widely performed today was The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1781. It was well received in Vienna and remained his most popular opera throughout his lifetime. Shortly after, in 1782, Wolfgang married Constanze Weber. The couple had six children, four of whom died in infancy. In 1785, Wolfgang began work on The Marriage of Figaro with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, who would become one of his greatest collaborators. Figaro was popular across Europe, and Wolfgang traveled frequently to conduct the piece for nobility. In 1787, Wolfgang’s opera Don Giovanni premiered, and a new phase in his life as a musician began. He toured less, gave fewer performances, and moved on to larger symphonic works. This year also marked the death of Wolfgang’s father Leopold, and the end of the Mozart family’s place in high society. After a few more years of traveling, Mozart worked with Da Ponte again on Così fan tutte (Thus Do All Women, 1790), a comic opera. While a success today, the opera was considered amoral at the time, for its depiction of women as being fickle and flighty cheaters. His next major opera La clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus, 1791) was commissioned for the coronation of King Leopold II. The Magic Flute (1791) was completed later that year. It appears that while Mozart had made an impressive sum through commissions and by giving concerts, he was very free in his spending. In the last years of his life, Mozart suffered much financial hardship, and often relied on giving music lessons to make money. Mozart is buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave.

What in the World??


Personal and Historic Events during Mozart’s Life Listed below are some historic and cultural events that took place during Mozart’s life. Events in boldface type are things that happened to Mozart; an asterisk (*) indicates events of local interest. What might it have been like to be alive at this time?

1756 1759 1760 1761 1764 1767 1768 1769 1770

Born on January 27 in Salzburg, Austria, son of Leopold and Maria Anna Pertle. George Washington married Martha Custis and they honeymooned at their home, which was known as "The White House." Industrial Revolution began in England. The country rapidly changed from mostly agricultural to mostly manufacturing.

Mozart at age 6

Mozart’s first known public appearance was at Salzburg University in September in a theatrical performance with music. Mozart wrote his first symphony at age eight. Dominion of Canada formed from the union of British North American colonies. British troops began occupation of Boston. Mozart’s first opera buffa La finta semplice premiered at the archbishop’s palace in Salzburg and appointed honorary Konzertmeister. Mozart’s first opera seria, Mitridate premiered in Milan with great success. Boston Massacre took place, as reported in the Boston Gazette and Country Journal. German composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn.

1771 1772 1773 1774 1775

Mozart and his father traveled to Italy after a five month stay in Salzburg. Ascanio in Alba was produced in Milan in October. During a period of 10 months, Mozart wrote 8 symphonies, 4 divertimentos and sacred works. and received a salary as Konzertmeister. Boston Tea Party; 342 chests of tea go into Boston Harbor on December 16.

* First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on September 5. * American Revolution began with battles at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts and lasted until 1783. Sir James Jay invented invisible ink.

1776 1777

* Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence from Britain * The first United States flag on record was made in Philadelphia on Arch Street by Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross. The first American Thanksgiving Day was celebrated.

1779 1781

Traveled to Paris with his mother, who fell ill and died.

1782 1783 1784

The Abduction from the Seraglio premiered in Vienna. On August 4, he married Constanze Weber, sister of his former lover, Aloysia.

1786 1787 1788 1789

On May 1, The Marriage of Figaro premiered in Vienna with great success.



Appointed as court organist in Salzburg which included playing in the cathedral, at court, and in the chapel. The opera seria Idomeneo premiered in Munich. He was released from service in Salzburg and moved to Vienna. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts abolished slavery in that state. Became a member of the Freemasons, a society of liberal intellectuals concerned with the philosophical ideals of the Enlightenment including nature, reason and the brotherhood of man. His father died on May 28. Mozart wrote Don Giovanni which premiered in Prague.


United States Constitution was ratified in Philadelphia.

Constanze Mozart 1762 – 1842

In July a mob assaulted the Bastille prison in France, causing French royalists to flee Paris.

* First United States Congress met in Philadelphia. Così fan tutte, commissioned by Joseph II, premiered. Joseph II died shortly after and was succeeded by his brother, Leopold II.

* America’s oldest law school, The Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, was founded. * First session of the United States Supreme Court was held in Philadelphia. Mozart began writing a Requiem Mass which was left unfinished and eventually completed by his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr. La clemenza di Tito premiered in Prague. On September 30, The Magic Flute debuted in Vienna to great audience acclaim. After a brief illness, Mozart died on December 5 in Vienna at the age of 35. He was quietly buried in an unmarked mass pauper’s grave on December 6.

Life in the Harem


Because Mozart’s opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, takes place in a Turkish harem, it seems appropriate to take a look at what this centuries old institution was. By definition, the word harem, which is often referred to in the West as a seraglio, was a “separate, protected part of a (Muslim) household where women, children, and servants lived in maximum seclusion and privacy.” No man, other than the master (the pasha or the sultan) could enter this secret inner chamber of the palace. The harem included the sultan’s wives, his concubines or mistresses, female slaves, as well as castrated male slaves known as eunuchs. The harem had its origins well before Mozart’s time but he fancied this fashionable Turkish fad as did much of Europe of the time. Everything was seemingly “Turkish” in the nineteenth century. Europeans wore harem pants, satin slippers, and turbans that were considered high fashion. Furniture in homes became Turkish with the rise of low divans for lounging and jeweled scimitars as accent pieces in homes of all classes. In France, authors such as Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Racine adapted traditional tales and made them into social satire poking fun at Western mentalities. The truth is, harems were fairly common in societies all around the world and were sanctioned by many religions. The Koran, which is the book Muslims accept as revelations made to Muhammad by Allah and that serve as the basis of their religion, The women of Bassa Selim’s harem.

allows a man to have four wives. Rich men had more wives than that. The harem, however, was most like an arrangement called polygyny where a man can have more than one female mate at a time. This includes wives, concubines, and slaves, the latter two categories could rise to become a wife should the master take an interest in them. Polygyny differs from polygamy, which is a far better known living arrangement where a man can have more than one wife. So where did all these slaves and concubines the pasha acquired come from? First, you have to know that the slave market was a thriving commerce during these times in the Middle East. Young girls of extraordinary beauty would be purchased from the slave markets and often were given as gifts to the pasha. Not uncommon either, was the capture of young girls who were then sold unwillingly into the service of one or another master to become part of a harem. This sets the entire dramatic plotline for The Abduction from the Seraglio because Konstanze and Blonde have been captured and are now part of Pasha Selim’s harem or seraglio. Enter the determined Belmonte, Konstanze’s beloved, who has a ship waiting in the harbor just waiting to steal her out of the harem and back to safety. As mentioned before, just this sort of thing was not that uncommon but what is unusual is what the Pasha does to win Konstanze’s love. In reality, he could have simply ordered her to submit to him and become his wife or concubine but in Mozart’s opera Pasha Selim allows her free choice to accept him. Of course, he is offering her riches and the life of nobility, but she stays with Belmonte, her true love.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Read about life in a harem.

There are hundreds of novels and stories that explore what harem life is like. The most famous of which is the wildly popular folk tale The One Thousand and One Nights. These tales are told for a modern audience in Tenggren’s Golden Tales from the Arabian Nights by Gustaf Tenggren. Other versions of the story include Susan Fletcher’s book Shadow Spinner. Alev Lytle Croutier, whose mother actually was born in a harem, presents an inside view of what harems really were like in her book Harem: The World Behind the Veil.

The Women of the

Age of Enlightenment A new era had dawned by the time The Abduction from the Seraglio premiered in 1805; the Age of Enlightenment was slowly changing people’s ideals. European intellectuals were discussing the idea that all men are born equal and free in the eyes of God and, therefore, deserve equal liberties under the law. In France, many Enlightenment intellectuals, called philosophes, felt so strongly about democracy and equality that in 1789, at the beginning of the French Revolution, they wrote a document called a “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.” This declaration called for the equality of all men and was influence by our Declaration of Independence, which was written in 1776. The 18th century European ideals of liberty and equality for all did not include women. When the writers of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” said all “men are born free and remain equal in rights” they meant the term men to refer to only members of the male sex (and even then only men of European descent). The term “man” was not being used in its generic sense to mean humankind as it sometimes is today. The men who wrote the declaration did not consider women equal to men. They believed that only men are born with the ability to reason. Women, they felt, are too emotional and irrational to hold a position outside of the home. Women were expected to be good wives and mothers and their lives were confined to the domestic sphere. They were supposed to be obedient to their husbands and accept the role given to them by nature. Throughout Europe there were, however, women who were unwilling to accept the male definition of a woman’s role. In France, Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793), a playwright and revolutionary, was an outspoken critic of the way women were treated by the revolutionary republicans. She wrote the “Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen” to counter the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen”. In de Gouges’ declaration, presented to Queen Marie Antoinette in 1791, she demanded that French women be given the same political and legal rights as French men. In England, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) rejected the idea that women and men have different natures and claimed that women only appear irrational and more emotional than men because when growing up they were not given the same


chances as boys to develop their rational intellects. Wollstonecraft wrote Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1786) and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) in which she called on a national government to create a new system of equal education for girls and boys. Another woman who spoke out against the treatment of women was a Spanish woman named Josefa Amar y Borbón. She demanded in her Discourse in Defense of Women’s Talent and Their Capacity for Government and Other Positions Held by Men (1786) that women be given a larger role in society. These three women were outspoken in their belief that women were capable of being more than just wives and mothers. They rebelled against the idea that only men have the ability to think rationally and women are by nature destined only for a submissive role in society. Their claims were very controversial at the time. In fact, many women who rebelled against the way men treated them were physically punished. For example, Olympe de Gouges was sent to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror because she was considered a threat to the men’s French Revolutionary Republic. Although, ultimately, the claims and demands made by these early feminists met with little advances it is important to know that there were women who did fight against the way men defined them. These women understood the true meaning of Enlightenment: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” for all.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Read through the libretto. Does the librettist or Mozart portray the female characters as capable of rational thought or not? Site specific scenes to support your answer.

2. Do a research paper and/or a portrait on American Heroine, Susan B. Anthony.

Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797

Olympe de Gouges 1748 – 1793

Mozart Brings the Turkish Craze 14

To The Stage!

The Abduction from the Seraglio (or in German as Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Mozart’s eleventh opera, became his first great success. Elements of Turkish life and civilization had been highly popular in Austrian theater ever since Vienna’s liberation from the Turkish Siege of 1683. Mozart’s opera took on contemporary relevance in 1788 when Austria was drawn into another war with Turkey, this one resulting from an alliance with Russia. Unlike the opera, the war was a disaster for the Austrians. Mozart (center) attended a performance of The Abduction from the Seraglio in Berlin in 1789.

Emperor Joseph II 1750 – 1825

Antonio Salieri 1750 – 1825

Its first performance was at Vienna’s Burgtheater on July 16, 1782. The first American performance was at the German Opera House in Brooklyn, NY, on February 16, 1860. Philadelphia first heard the opera on March 4, 1863 at the Academy of Music. At the Vienna premiere, Austrian Emperor Joseph II allegedly remarked that the opera contained “an extraordinary number of notes.” The score truly is one of the composer’s most musically elaborate. But given the singers in the cast, Mozart wanted showcase their extraordinary talents. Two of the greatest stars of the day sang at the premiere of The Abduction from the Seraglio and Mozart and them both singing at the top and bottom of their vocal range! Austrian soprano Caterina Cavalieri studied voice with Mozart's rival, composer Antonio Salieri. She had a long affair with Salieri and he even took her to see the world premiere of one of Mozart's last operas, The Magic Flute. While reports from the time described her as "frightfully ugly" with "one eye" and a horrible actress, she was one of the most incredible singers of her time. She was well known for the flexibility and speed at which she could sing - from brilliant high notes to full low notes. Konstanze was written to show off the full potential of her voice.

German bass, Ludwig Fischer, who sang the part of Osmin, had an extraordinarily large range of which one critic of the time described as having “the depth of a cello and the natural height of a tenor.” His voice extended from the tenor's high A above middle C to a low D, almost two octaves below middle C. A longtime friend of Mozart’s, Fischer sang in a memorial concert organized by his widow Constanze after Mozart’s death. Though the opera may have had too many notes and two of the most famous singers of the era, the plot is rather simple – a rescue of lovers held hostage – inspired Mozart to some of his most beautifully crafted writing for voice and orchestra. Plus, operas featuring “rescues” were about to become all the craze at the time. Overall, Mozart's operass fall into three distinct genres, or types: opera seria, the serious style of his predecessors; opera buffa, the comic Italian style, highly popular in his day; and the German-language singspiel (song-play), with dialogue spoken between its arias and ensembles. The singspiel was designed to appeal to everyday audiences rather than court patrons. Abduction, sung in German, with comical scenes and dramatic arias, is essentially a mixture of all three styles. The librettist for the opera, Gottlieb Stephanie (1741-1800), was a German actor and playwright who originally wanted to study law but was drafted into the Prussian army. He was captured during a battle with the Austrian army and shifted his loyalty to Austria, serving as an army recruiter. He began his acting career in 1769, but soon turned to writing plays – a total of forty during his lifetime. He was a theater manager as well, with a reputation as a persistent master of intrigue. He was very popular in Vienna, but attained very little critical acclaim for his literary work. Stephanie based Abduction on an already existing libretto, Belmont und Constanze by Christopher Bretzner (1748-1807). Bretzner was a German businessman who turned to writing plays in 1771- without much success. His libretto had already been set to music in 1780 by a Berlin composer, Johann Andre. Bretzner protested the apparent borrowing, but there were no enforceable copyright laws to prevent such actions by composers or librettist in those days. Bretzner later turned to translating Italian opera texts for German-language performances. Two of his efforts offer a somewhat ironic note: a version of Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Thus Do They All), and an opera by Mozart’s rival, Antonio Salieri, La scuola de' gelosi (The School of Jealousy).

The Abduction from the Seraglio



ACT I (Pasha Selim’s country house by the sea, in Turkey) The young Spanish nobleman, Belmonte, wonders how he is to enter the palace to rescue his true love, Konstanze, her maid Blonde, and his servant Pedrillo. When Belmonte tries to get information from Osmin, the palace overseer, Osmin gives him a hard time and won’t answer his questions. Shortly after Belmonte walks away disgustedly, Pedrillo enters and asks Osmin if Pasha is back yet. Osmin gives him a hard time also, says he can’t stand Pedrillo and imagines all sorts of tortures for him. When Osmin goes into the house, Belmonte shows up again, and he and Pedrillo have a happy reunion. Pedrillo says he will introduce Belmonte as a clever architect, and they go to meet the Pasha. The Pasha arrives with Konstanze, whom he is wooing, but she claims her heart belongs to someone else. Pedrillo introduces Belmonte to the Pasha, who takes a liking to him. When Belmonte and Pedrillo go to enter the palace, Osmin returns and tries to stop them, but they push him aside and enter.

ACT II (the garden of Pasha’s palace) Osmin and Blonde argue – he insists she is his slave and must obey him, she laughs in his face and orders him away. Konstanze enters, lamenting her lost love. Selim enters and insists that she must love him. She responds that she can honor him, but never love him. When Selim threatens torture of every kind, Konstanze says she will bear whatever he inflicts on her, but that she will remain faithful to her true love. After she leaves, followed by Selim, Pedrillo and Blonde enter. Pedrillo informs Blonde that Belmonte is here to rescue them; she is to inform Konstanze of the plan to escape at midnight. Her heart filled with joy, she runs off to find Konstanze. Osmin enters and Pedrillo offers him some wine. At first Osmin wonders if he should trust Pedrillo, but he gives in and drinks. The two sing happy songs to Bacchus, the god of wine, until Osmin becomes sleepy from the potion the Pedrillo slipped into his drink. Osmin goes off singing. Belmonte enters, followed shortly by Konstanze and Blonde. The lovers are filled with bliss at their reunion. But Belmonte must first ask Konstanze if she loves the Pasha, while at the same time Pedrillo asks Blonde if Osmin has had his way with her. The women both become highly indignant that the men doubt their honor. The men immediately ask for forgiveness and the four sing to love.

ACT III (midnight, in the courtyard in front of the Pasha’s palace) While the four are trying to make their escape, Osmin, still half drunk, enters. He calls the guards to capture them, and is thrilled at the thought of their execution. Inside, Selim is deeply offended that Konstanze has deceived him. To make matters worse, he finds out that Belmonte is the son of his bitterest enemy, who had robbed him of his position, his property and his beloved. The lovers think that they are doomed, and sing of their grief and their undying love. Then, to their joyous surprise, Selim informs them that he will not follow his enemy’s example; instead, he will repay injustice with good deeds by letting the four prisoners go. They are ecstatic and sing of their eternal gratitude. Osmin leaves in a rage. The others sing of Selim’s generosity and kindness – “to forgive mercifully, is a quality only of great souls!”

Lights, Camera, Action:

Hollywood in the 1920s For those of us who regularly stream movies from the Internet or see 3D blockbusters in the movie theater, it’s hard to imagine what movies could have been like in the early days of Hollywood. These first decades of the twentieth century were an important time in American history, filled with revolutionary developments in technology and industry that made the film industry possible. Even in spite of World War I, Hollywood continued to blossom, paving way for a century of great cinema. We often think of Hollywood as the birthplace of movies, but it was actually in New York City in 1894 that Thomas Edison introduced the first commercial motion picture. For the early film industry, New York’s thriving theater district already had the actors and actresses, directors and technicians, costume designers and make-up artists that were needed for the big screen. Of course, it wasn’t long until these talented men and women made the move to Hollywood, where the mild climate, reliable sunlight, and varied scenery was ideal for shooting films. You see, in the early days of Hollywood, when a director wanted to film a pistol duel between two cowboys, he didn’t build an indoor set with artificial lights. Rather, he brought his camera outside and relied on the sun to light his scene. Or similarly, if he wanted to film a stunt of someone jumping off a cliff into a river below, he had to go to a real cliff with a real river, as well as find someone crazy enough to do it on camera. The good weather and diverse landscapes of southern California were the original backdrop of the movie industry. You may recognize the names of some of the actors who helped define the early years of Hollywood. For example, there was the comedic Marx Brothers trio, Chico, Harpo, and Groucho, who made the trek from the Broadway stage. There was the quintessential Charlie Chaplin, with his characteristic derby hat and thick mustache. And there were many others whose names are less known today: Mary Pickford, Blanche Sweet, Lillian Gish, Lionel Barrymore, and the list goes on. This was also the era when many of today’s major film studios like Warner Bros. and MGM first began production. You can imagine that with the invention of movies came the need for places where people could watch them — the movie theater was born! The very first movie theaters were often built in converted


This production of The Abduction from the Seraglio takes its inspiration from the adventure films of the 1920s and features clips from some of the eras most famous films. storefronts and were called Nickelodeons, since it only cost a nickel to see the show. And for that price, you got more than just the feature film: Newsreels, comedy or musical shorts, and animated cartoons (featuring the original Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse) often preceded the main show just like today’s movie previews. But for five cents, your film was still silent. Unfortunately, the movie-making technology wasn’t sophisticated enough to synchronize sound and images, so directors had to use pantomime and title cards to convey dialogue to the audience. In movie theaters, a pianist or organist usually played (and sometime improvised) music to enhance the atmosphere of the plot. Special organs at some fancy theaters could even make the sound of galloping horses or rolling thunder. Of course, as filming technology advanced, so did the movies themselves. In the roaring 1920s, new lighting systems and more complicated cameras allowed for ever more realistic films: Westerns, slapstick comedies, musicals, animated cartoons, and more. But as you can imagine, the most revolutionary advancement was the introduction of sound. In 1927, The Jazz Singer became the first “talkie” to hit theaters, and with it began the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Early Hollywood comedians, The Marx Brothers: (clockwise from left) Chico, Harpo and Groucho

The Abduction from the Seraglio

Crossword Puzzle



ACROSS 4. 9.

Elizabeth Zharoff and Elizabeth Reiter both attended this famous music school in Philadelphia, The ______ of Music. Spanish tenor Antonio _____ sings the role of Belmonte.


Polish tenor Krystian ______ sings the role of Pedrillo.


The opera will be performed in the _____ of Music in Philadelphia on Broad Street.


Belmonte and Pedrillo are on a mission to _______ Konstanze and Blonde.


Italian maestro Corrado _______ conducts this opera.


This character is the overseer to Bassa Selim and wants Blonde for himself.


Danish bass Per Bach ______ sings the role of Osmin.


The Academy of Music is located on Broad Street, also known as the Avenue of the ______.


The opera is written in this language.


A singing style noted for runs, trills, wide leaps, and virtuosic display of the voice.


You’ll be seeing a production by the Opera Company of ________.


The city where Mozart was born.


This character is Konstanze's maid and Pedrillo's girlfriend.


The title of the opera is The ________ from the Seraglio.


Pedrillo and Osmin toast this Greek god of wine.


This man is Belmonte's servant and in love with Blonde.


The women in a Muslim household (mother, sisters, wives, concubines, daughters, entertainers, and servants) or the place where they live.


A Turkish ruler who wants Konstanze to join his harem.


The lowest male vocal register (not a tenor or baritone).


Soprano Elizabeth _________ sings the role of Blonde.


Soprano Elizabeth _________ sings the role of Konstanze.


She is in love with the Spanish nobleman Belmonte, but the Bassa Selim wants to make her his wife.


This production was created by OCP's Artistic Director, Robert B. ___________.


The Bassa Selim wants Konstanze to be his _____.


A style of German opera with spoken dialogue.


He is a Spanish nobleman who is trying to rescue his girlfriend, Konstanze.


The country in which opera takes place.

WORD BANK Do not include spaces in answers with multiple words (ex. BassaSelim) Abduction Academy Adam Arts Bacchus

Bass Bassa Selim Belmonte Blonde Coloratura

Curtis Driver German Harem Konstanze

Lozano Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Nissen Osmin Pedrillo

Philadelphia Reiter Rescue Rovaris Salzburg

Singspiel Turkey Wife Zharoff


Sequence of the Story


The sequence of a story or play is very important for understanding the content. The sequence of events explains how things happen and when they happen. After reading the libretto, place the following events in order. Re-number the events from one to ten in the order that they occur in the opera. Write the act in which you find that event. _____ 1.

Osmin catches the prisoners and Belmonte who are trying to escape.

ACT ___

_____ 2.

Belmonte is introduced to Selim as an architect.

ACT ___

_____ 3.

Konstanze and Belmonte sing that they will die happy if they die together.

ACT ___

_____ 4.

Belmonte is told that Konstanze, Blonde and Pedrillo were bought as slaves.

ACT ___

_____ 5.

Osmin orders Blonde to love him.

ACT ___

_____ 6.

Selim realizes that Belmonte is the son of his sworn enemy.

ACT ___

_____ 7.

Konstanze and Blonde are upset because their beloveds question their faithfulness.

ACT ___

_____ 8.

Pedrillo gives Osmin a sleeping potion.

ACT ___

_____ 9.

Belmonte asks Osmin if this is the Pasha’s palace.

ACT ___

_____ 10. Selim grants the four prisoners their freedom.

ACT ___

ACTIVE LEARNING Choose what you feel is the most important event in the sequence above and explain how, if changed, it would affect the other events. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Use additional paper if necessary.)

Illustrate the most important event you have chosen or ask your teacher if you can act out the scene with your classmates. Discuss why you feel this scene is important with your classmates. How could you cause a change in this scene and affect the rest of the story’s plot? Discuss this new view of the opera with your classmates or write a new ending to the opera. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Make Your Own Synopsis


A synopsis is a concise summary or brief statement of events. In writing a synopsis, the main points or ideas are written and the supporting details are left out. To do this successfully, we must make judgments on what are the most important facts or details.

1. In a small group, examine the main characters of The

Often you are asked after a day of school, “How was your day?” or “What did you learn today?” You know how to answer these questions because you know what the important things you did were.

2. Make a word bank of the main characters. List

Abduction from the Seraglio. How did the actions of the characters move the plot forward? What were the most important things which happened? important adjectives which describe their character traits. Then list the verbs or action words which highlight their actions.


Descriptive Adjectives




















__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Use additional paper if needed.

Recognizing Facts and Opinions


The following lessons are designed to be worked on in pairs. Pick a partner with whom you can the opinions and statements on this page and the next. Discuss your answers and the different opinions found in the questions. How do these opinions make you feel? How can facts be misused when backing up opinion?

1. Read the following statements. Before each statement, write whether it is a fact or an opinion. _____ a. Selim is terrible to insist that Konstanze love him. _____

b. Pedrillo puts a sleeping potion into Osmin’s wine.




d. Blonde seems to be not only a good maid, but also a gracious lady.


e. Osmin leaves in a rage when Selim releases the prisoners.



Konstanze laments her lost love, Belmonte.

Belmonte must be very happy that he can marry Konstanze.

2. Write an opinion about each of the following topics. Support each opinion with two facts. Respect __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Freedom __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trust __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Osmin __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Bassa Selim __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Your Opinions 1. Write “I believe” or “I think” four times. Then complete each phrase with a different statement regarding the opera The Abduction from the Seraglio. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Identify which statements are fact and opinion by placing an ‘F’ or ‘O’ next to each one. Then combine the two statements to make a sentence using the following connectives: since, because, therefore, thus, however. The first one has been done for you. _____ O 1a. Blonde dislikes Osmin. _____ F 1b. Osmin has an awful personality. Sentence: Blonde dislikes Osmin because he has an awful personality. _____ 2a. Osmin is arrogant. _____ 2b. Osmin doesn't know how to drink responsibly. Sentence: _________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____ _____

3a. Selim is a nice person. 3b. Selim gives the prisoners their freedom.

Sentence: _________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____ _____

4a. Belmonte and Konstanze are ready to die together. 4b. They are very brave.

Sentence: _________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____ _____

5a. Pedrillo gives Osmin a sleeping potion so that they can make their escape. 5b. He seems very clever.

Sentence: _________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____ 6a. Osmin doesn’t answer when Belmonte first approaches him. _____ 6b. Osmin must be hard of hearing. Sentence: _________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Conflicts and Loves in The Abduction from the Seraglio Mozart’s opera is filled with several fascinating characters, all of whom interact with each other. Draw a picture of your favorite character from the opera in the middle circle. In the outer circles, draw a picture of the other characters. In the boxes pointing toward the middle circle, write how the other characters feel about your favorite character. In the boxes pointing to the outer circles, write how the central character feels about the other individuals.

Glossary act (akt) n. one of the main divisions of a play or opera. affliction (uh-flik-shuhn) n. a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery. airs (airs) pl n. affected manners intended to impress others (give oneself airs, put on airs ) Allah (ah-luh) n. the Muslim name for God; the one Supreme Being. allegro (uh-leg-roh) adv. musical term for fast and lively. alto (al-toh) n. the range of the female voice between mezzo-soprano and contralto. andante (ahn-dahn-tey) adv. a musical term meaning in moderately slow time. anguished (ang-gwisht) adj. excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain. antagonist (an-tag-o-nist) n. an adversary or opponent of the main character or protagonist in an opera, play, or other drama. anticipation (an-tis-uh-pey-shuhn) n. the act of anticipating; expectation, premonition, or foresight. ardently (ahr-dnt-lee) adv. intensely devoted, eager, or enthusiastic; zealous. aria (ahr-ee-uh) n. an operatic song for one voice. Bacchus (bak-uhs) n. The Greek and Roman god of wine and revelry. He is also known by the Greek name Dionysus. bar (bahr) n. a division of music containing a set number of beats. baritone (bar-i-tohn) n. the range of the male voice between tenor and bass. base (beys) adj. morally low; without estimable personal qualities; dishonorable; mean spirited; selfish; cowardly. bass (beys) n. the lowest male singing voice. bastinado (bas-tuh-nah-doh) n. punishment or torture in which the soles of the feet are beaten with a stick. bass (beys) n. the lowest male singing voice. beat (beet) n. the basic pulse of a piece of music. bellows (bel-ohz) n. a device for producing a strong current of air, consisting of a chamber that can be expanded to draw in air through a valve and contracted to expel it through a tube. brazenly (brey-zuhn) adv. Shamelessly or impudently. cankered (kang-kerd) adj. destroyed or having portions destroyed by the feeding of a cankerworm. chord (kord) n. a group of notes played at the same time in harmony. chorus (kawr-uhs) n. 1. a group of singers. 2. a piece of music for these. chronological (kron-l-oj-i-kuhl) adj. a method of arrangement that puts events in order of occurrence. compensate (kom-puhn-seyt) v. to provide or be an equivalent; make up; make amends conspired (kuhn-spahyuhr) v. to agree together, especially secretly, to do something wrong, evil, or illegal. contralto (cuhn-tral-toh) n. the lowest female singing voice. Croesus (kree-suhs) n. The last king of Lydia in Asia Minor, famously wealthy. draught (draft) n. a portion of liquid to be drunk, a dose of medicine. enticing (en-tahys-ing) adj. to attract or draw towards oneself by exciting hope or desire; tempt; allure. fervent (fur-vuhnt) adj. having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.; ardent. firmament (fur-muh-muhnt) n. the expanse of the sky; heavens. flat (b) (flat) adj. a half-step lower than the corresponding note or key of natural pitch. forte (f) (for-tay) adv. loudly. fortissimo (ff) (for-tee-see-moh) adv. a musical term for very loud. gallows-bird (ga-lows burd) n. a person who deserves to be hanged. harem (hair-uhm) n. the part of a Muslim palace or house reserved for the residence of women. humane (hyoo-meyn) adj. characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals. hussy (huhs-ee) n. a mischievous, impudent, or ill-behaved girl. implore (im-plohr) v. to beg urgently or piteously, as for aid or mercy; beseech; entreat. impudence (im-pyuh-duhns) n. the quality or state of being shameless, lack of modesty. indulgence (in-duhl-juhns) n. something granted as a favor or privilege. inert (in-urt) adj. having no inherent ability to move or to resist motion, inactive, lazy, or sluggish. janissaries (jan-uh-ser-ee) pl n. members of any group of loyal guards, soldiers, or supporters. japes (jeyps) pl n. jokes; jests; quips, tricks or practical jokes.



key (kee) n. the basic note of the main scale used in a piece of music. In the key of G, for example, G is the fundamental note; the music often returns to it and comes to rest on it. laments (luh-ments) pl n. expressions of grief or sorrow. largo (lahr-goh) adv. a musical term meaning in slow time and dignified style. leitmotiv (lahyt-mo-teev) n. a melodic passage or phrase associated with a specific character, situation, or element. libretto (li-bret-oh) n. the words of an opera or other long musical. magnanimous (mag-nan-uh-muhs) adj. free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness; high-minded; noble. major (mahy-zer) adj. music in a major key uses a major scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then another tone (for example, C, D, E). It often has a cheerful, strong sound. minor (my-ner) adj. music in a minor key uses a minor scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then a semitone ( for example A, B, C). It often has a sad, melancholic sound. mogul (moh-guhl) n. any of the emperors of the former Mogul Empire in India founded in 1526 by Baber. Moorish (moo r-ish) adj. pertaining to the culture of a Muslim people of North Africa who converted to Islam and came to power in North Africa and Spain, where they established a civilization. moors (moor) v. to secure (a ship, boat, dirigible, etc.) in a particular place, as by cables and anchors or by lines. (Pasha Selim and Constanze arrive in a pleasure boat, in front of which another boat moors containing musicians.) Mussulman (muhs-uhl-muhn) n. an archaic word for Muslim. natural (nach-er-uhl) adj. a note that is neither flattened nor sharpened. obstinate (ob-stuh-nit) adj. stubbornly adhering to one's purpose, opinion; not yielding to argument or persuasion. octave (ok-tiv) n. a note that sounds twice as high in pitch as another, is an octave above the other note, and has the same letter naming it. opera (op-er-uh) n. a play in which the words are sung to musical accompaniment. orchestra (awr-keh-struh) n. a large body of people playing various musical instruments, including stringed and wind instruments. overture (oh-ver-cher) n. an orchestral composition forming a prelude to an opera or ballet. pianissimo (pp) (pee-ah-nees-ee-moh) adv. a musical term meaning very softly. piano (p) (pi-an-oh) 1. adv. a musical term meaning softly. 2. n. keyed percussion instrument first named pianoforte because it could play both softly and loudly. presto (pres-toh) adv. a musical term meaning very fast. quayside (kee-sahyd) n. the edge of a landing place constructed along the edge of a body of water; wharfside. rapturous (rap-cher-uhs) adj. full of, feeling, or manifesting ecstatic joy or delight. repent (ri-pent) v. to feel sorry for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude. reproach (ri-prohch) v. to find fault with (a person, group, etc.); blame; censure. scale (skayl) n. a series of notes arranged in descending or ascending order of pitch. semitone (sem-i-tohn) n. a half step or half tone, an interval midway between two whole tones. sequins (see-kwin) pl n. the name of a former Italian and Turkish gold coins. steadfastly (sted-fast-lee) adv. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment. strove (strohv) v. simple past tense of strive. to make strenuous efforts toward any goal. timorous (tim-er-uhs) adj. full of fear; fearful. sharp (#) (shahrp) n. any note a semitone higher than another note. Also, slightly too high in pitch. soprano (so-prah-noh) n. the highest female or boy's singing voice. stage (stayj) n. a platform on which a public performance is given before an audience. symphony (sim-foh-nee) n. a long musical composition (usually in several parts) for a full orchestra. synopsis (si-nop-sis) n. a summary, a brief general survey. tone (tohn) n. 1. an interval equal to two semitones. 2. the sound quality of an instrument or voice. uncouth (uhn-kooth) adj. awkward, clumsy, or unmannerly. unrequited (uhn-ri-kwahy-tid) adj. not returned or reciprocated. upstart (uhp-stahrt) adj. a presumptuous and objectionable person who has so risen to a position of power and wealth. wiles (wahyl) pl n. tricks, artifices, or stratagems meant to fool, trap, or entice. wretch (rech) n. a despicable person. verismo (vuh-riz-moh ) n. realism in opera. From Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Š Random House, Inc. 2012.

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Opera Company of Philadelphia

OPERA at the Academy Carmen

Abduction from the Seraglio


September 30, October 2m, 5, 9m, & 14

February 17, 19m, 22, 24 & 26m

April 20, 22m, 25, 27 & 29m




AURORA SERIES Chamber Opera at the Perelman Elegy for Young Lovers

Dark Sisters

March 14, 16 & 18m, 2012

June 8, 10m, 13, 15 &17m



* The Kimmel Center Presents Curtis Opera Theatre’s production in association with Opera Company of Philadelphia