This Is Not Your Father’s Mozart

Seeking “to cast a light on the plight of women exploited in the sex trade,” Catalan director Calixto Bieitodirector has taken some liberties with the original plot in a Berlin production of The Abduction from the Seraglio:
An opera featuring rape, torture and masturbation, a nude bass singing an aria in the shower and a cross-dressing hero who rounds off the night by slaughtering a troupe of semi-naked prostitutes has caused a scandal in Berlin.

In between bouts of simulated sex with the prostitutes who lounge about the set, one of the characters urinates on stage and slashes a helpless woman as another looks on in terror.
The heroine Konstanza cowers in a cage as the villainous Selim Pasha sticks his hand down her pants and makes a series of repulsive threats in spoken asides inserted into the text.
Meanwhile her beloved Belmonte arms himself with a handgun and, helped by his tattooed manservant, slides into high boots and a tight dress to infiltrate the brothel.
Not everyone in the audience likes this interpretation of the opera:
On opening night, a voice from the audience answered the explosion of gunfire as Belmonte slays first the prostitutes and then their keepers with the cry “Now for the director!”


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