May 28, 2023

On 20 and 21 May, the premiere of Mozart’s opera The Abduction from the Seraglio will take place on the main stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. Ilya Ustyantsev will act as stage director and choreographer, and Justus Frantz will be the conductor.


“Abduction from the Seraglio” is an Austrian singspiel, “playing with singing”, a musical comedy with dialogues. The plot takes place in Turkey in the 16th century in the country residence of Pasha Selim. According to conductor Justus Frantz, it will be “a wonderful, cheerful, joyful performance.” In the opera, there are kidnappings by pirates, separated lovers, rescue of brides by noble youths, etc.

The world premiere of “The Abduction from the Seraglio” took place on July 16, 1782 at the Burgtheater in Vienna – Mozart himself conducted the orchestra. In Russia, The Abduction from the Seraglio was first performed in 1802 in St. Petersburg by the imperial German troupe. From the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, The Abduction from the Seraglio was performed for the first time only in November last year – 13 numbers from the Singspiel (there are 21 numbers in the opera) were performed by opera soloists and the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra conducted by Justus Frantz.

Ilya Ustyantsev is a director from Omsk, currently actively working with theaters in St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Almaty. As a choreographer at the Mariinsky Theater he has worked on performances of Eugene Onegin (2013), The Queen of Spades (2015), A Christmas Tale (2015), The Bat (2020), The Maid of Orleans (2021) and others.


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