Mozart's problem piece limps along

There's a spirit to this recording of Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio, but it's too self-consciously theatrical

Composer: Mozart
Repertoire: The Abduction from the Seraglio
Artists: Soloists, Netherlands Opera Chorus, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra/Constantinos Carydis
Rating:  3/5
Genre: Opera
Label: Opus Arte OA 1003 D

Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio has always been regarded as a bit of a problem piece: there are acres of dialogue and the main antagonist doesn’t sing. Director Johan Simons attempts to solve the problem with a production that is self-consciously about theatre, with reversed scenery and unrealistic backcloths and so on. It’s a tired and tiresome concept, and one which he handles with no wit, humour or pace. Thank goodness, then, for some cracking singing. Laura Aikin uses her agile, creamy voice to great effect as Konstanze, Edgaras Montvidas is a charming Belmonte, and Mojca Erdmann hits impossibly high notes with ease as the maid Blonde. The orchestra isn’t of the first rank, but Constantinos Carydis conducts with spirit nonetheless. Some three-star singing, but overall a two-star experience.