skip to Main Content

Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio tells the story of a Konstanze and her maid Blonde, who find themselves in the Harem of Pasha Salim! Thrust into action, Belmonte, the gallant nobleman, assisted by his servant Pedrillo, attempt to rescue the women from the confines of their Turkish harem and sinister overseer, Osmin, who is determined to keep Konstanze for his master and have Blonde for himself.



George Manahan

Stage Director
Michael Shell

Assistant Conductor
Ming Luke

Chorus Master
Ming Luke


Set Designer
Steven Kemp

Costume Designer
Ulises Alcala

Costume Director
Alyssa Oania

Lighting Designer
Pamila Z. Gray

Wig & Makeup Designer
Christina Martin


Role 9/15, 9/16, 9/20, 9/23, 9/28, 9/30
Konstanze Rebecca Davis/Brittany Renee Robinson*
Blonde Katrina Galka
Belmonte Matthew Grills
Osmin Ashraf Sewailam
Pedrillo Michael Dailey
Pasha Selim Nathan Stark
*9/30 performance  

Opera San José Orchestra, Chorus, Dancers and Supers

Casting subject to change without notice

Synopsis: The Abduction from the Seraglio

ACT I: At the main entrance to Pasha Selim’s summer palace on the Turkish coast.
After months of searching, Belmonte, a Spanish noble, arrives seeking his beloved, Konstanze, who, with her maidservant Blonde and Belmonte’s valet Pedrillo have been captured and sold as slaves to the Pasha. Belmonte intends to rescue them from the Pasha’s palace. The first person he meets is Osmin, a gardener who watches jealously over the Pasha’s wives. Belmonte asks if he has found Pasha Selim’s palace, but Osmin ignores him as long as possible, then breaks into a tirade accusing Belmonte of wanting to carry off women from the seraglio. When Belmonte finally breaks through to Osmin and asks where he can find Pedrillo, Osmin loses his already explosive temper and orders Belmonte to get out or be arrested and tortured. Belmonte goes and very soon the flippant Pedrillo arrives. Osmin lets fly a burst of deadly threats, then leaves. With Pedrillo still in the garden, Belmonte returns and the two are greatly relieved to find one another. It is especially good news that Belmonte has a ship waiting offshore to take them all to safety and freedom. Now, all they must do is figure out a way to get the four of them out of the palace and into a boat. As soon as Belmonte and Pedrillo have left to make their plan, Pasha Selim and Konstanze arrive from an outing. The Pasha expresses his love for Konstanze and tells her that he is determined to win her affection. Konstanze explains that before her captivity, she was already in love and is promised to that man. She is firmly resolved never to break her vow, and Pasha Selim marvels at her steadfastness and finds that he loves her all the more. Pedrillo returns with Belmonte and introduces him to the Pasha as an accomplished architect. As architecture is Selim’s great passion, he welcomes Belmonte into his household. The first stage of the plan has gone smoothly until Osmin decides to block the entrance of Belmonte and Pedrillo into the palace. There is a scuffle.

Intermission (15 minutes)

ACT II: The same day, a garden within the palace walls
Osmin tries to convince Blonde that she is his property, given to him by the Pasha. Blonde tries to instruct him on how to deal with women, but it all ends with Blonde threatening to scratch out his eyes if he doesn’t leave immediately. Osmin is astonished that Englishmen allow their women to behave like this, but leaves, as does Blonde.

Konstanze reflects on her present sorrow at having been separated from Belmonte, realizing that she has never before experienced heartbreak. Pasha Selim arrives to convince Konstanze of his sincere and deep feelings for her. She responds that while she will always hold him in high regard, she will never love him. Angered, he informs her that he could force her or submit her to all kinds of torture if she continues to refuse. She responds adamantly that he can do his worst; she will never break her vow.

Pedrillo tells Blonde that Belmonte has arrived to set them free. After Pedrillo deals with Osmin, they will all escape at midnight. Blonde rushes off to tell Konstanze while Pedrillo stays behind to ponder how he will overcome Osmin. He settles on enticing him to drink a generous amount of wine, though this is firmly against Islamic law. Succumbing to temptation, and unaccustomed to alcohol, Osmin becomes inebriated and passes out. The coast is clear for the reunion between Belmonte and Konstanze, which, as with Pedrillo and Blonde’s reunion, has challenges.

Intermission (20 minutes)

ACT III: At night, outside the seraglio.

A scaffold erected by workers at Belmonte’s direction, supposedly to facilitate an addition to the building, is ready as an escape route from the second floor. To signal that the ship is at the ready, Pedrillo sings a serenade. All seems well until Pedrillo’s singing wakes Osmin who calls the guards. The Pasha is awakened by the ruckus and the scene pivots to reveal his private apartments.

Inside the Pasha’s apartments
Osmin tells all, and Konstanze pleads for the life of Belmonte. Belmonte tells Pasha Selim that his father, Commandant Lostados, will pay any amount for their safe release. Selim rejoices that the son of Lostados, Selim’s most hated enemy, is kneeling before him, pleading for mercy. He asks Belmonte what fate he would have should he be kneeling before Lostados. Belmonte admits that his fate would be bleak. Selim, however, announces that responding to injustice with injustice, and to violence with more violence, is misguided. He instructs Belmonte to be a better man than his father, which would be reward enough to Selim for his clemency. All rejoice, except Osmin.

Introduction to Opera

At 6:30 before evening performances and at 1:30 before matinees, a free talk will be presented in the California Theatre that will acquaint you with the composer’s life, his place in the history of opera, the story and its characters. If you are attending the 1:30 or 6:30 Introduction, you must be ticketed for that day’s performance; and your ticket must be torn as you enter the building.

Free Previews

A one-hour preview for each 2018-19 production (except Moby-Dick) is presented free of charge in the third floor rehearsal hall of the California Theatre, located at 345 S. First Street. Please enter via Market Street entrance and take elevator to third floor. The preview for Moby-Dick will take place at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (venue change for just this production) located at 560 S. First Street in San Jose. Moderated by GD Larry Hancock, the previews includes a lecture and performances by OSJ artists. Dates for previews are as follows:

  • The Abduction from the Seraglio: September 4, 2018
  • Pagliacci: November 6, 2018
  • Moby-Dick: January 29, 2019
  • Madama Butterfly: April 2, 2019

All previews begin at 12 noon.

Opera at Your Doorstep Lecture Series

Increase your understanding of opera and enjoy upcoming Opera San José performances all the more by attending one of long-time OSJ subscriber Bradford Wade’s FREE previews. The dates for The Abduction from the Seraglio lectures are listed below.  For more information about the Opera at Your Doorstep Lecture Series and/or to RSVP, email .

Opera at your Doorstep Lectures: The Abduction from the Seraglio

Thursday, Sept. 6: 7:30-9:00 pm
Sheppard Mullin Law Firm
379 Lytton Avenue, Palo Alto (map)
To RSVP for a no-host pre-talk dinner with the speaker, please email
No reservation is required for the talk. 
For more information, send an email to

Monday, Sept. 10: 7:00-8:30 pm
The Terraces of Los Gatos, GRA Room
800 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos (map)
No reservation is required for this talk.
For more information, send an email to

Tuesday, Sept. 11: 7:00-8:30 pm
Italian American Heritage Foundation
425 N. Fourth St, San Jose (map)
No reservation is required for this talk.
For more information, send an email to



City of San Jose