Die Entführung aus dem Serail

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There are two , closely related, musical plays by this name:

(1) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1781) by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner (1748-1807)[1] and Johann André (1741-1799)[2].

(2) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)[[3]] and J. Gottlieb Stephanie Jr. (1741–1800)[4].

Bretzner's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, 1781

A sung play (Dutch een zangspel, German Singspiel) in four acts Christoph Friedrich Bretzner (1748-1807)[5] , with music by Johann André (1741-1799)[6]. (Wrongly listed by Worp as Die Entführing aus dem Serail)

The original text

Originally written as a play called Belmont und Konstanze by Georg Friedrich Bretzner in 1780, which he himself reworked as a Singspiel for production by the Berlin company Döbbelinsche Theatertruppe in 1781, with music by Johann André.

Translations and adaptations

The Bretzner version was translated into Dutch as De Schaaking uit het Serail by Gerrit Brender à Brandis (1751-1802) in 1797. (Title one again wrongly given by Worp as De Schaaking uit het Serial and by Bosman as De Schaking uit het Serail). Published under the name of the translator alone by J. Helders en A. Mars, Amsterdam 1797, though crediting the original authors in a preface, and also mentioning Mozart's version.

Performances in South Africa

1835: Performed in the Dutch translation with the title De Schaking uit het Serail by the children's company Kunst en Smaak in De Liefhebbery Toneel ("The Amateur Theatre"), Cape Town on 1 August, with as afterpiece 't Zal laat Worden (Meijer).

Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, 1782

A sung play (Singspiel) in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)[[7]] and J. Gottlieb Stephanie Jr. (1741–1800)[8].

Also known as Il Seraglio.

The original text

Deriving from Brezner's play Belmont und Konstanze, and based on a libretto by J. Gottlieb Stephanie Jr., Mozart's much more famous operatic work Die Entführung aus dem Serail was first performed on 16 July 1782 in the Burgtheater in Vienna , directed by the composer himself.

Translations and adaptations

Performances in South Africa

1960: Presented by the University of Cape Town Opera Company at the Little Theatre, conducted by Erik Chisholm.

1967: Presented by PACT Opera.

1969: Presented by NAPAC Opera.

1971: Presented by PACOFS Opera.

1976: Presented by NAPAC Opera.

1999: Presented by Oude Libertas (18 March)

2011: Presented by Cape Town Opera (6–12 November)


Wayne Muller. 2018. A reception history of opera in Cape Town: Tracing the development of a distinctly South African operatic aesthetic (1985–2015). Unpublished PhD thesis.



J.A. Worp, Geschiedenis van het drama en van het tooneel in Nederland. Deel 2. Wolters, Groningen 1907[9]

Facsimile copy of the Dutch version(Google E-Book)[10]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [11]: pp. 271

Alexandra Xenia Sabina Mossolow. 2003. The career of South African soprano Nellie du Toit, born 1929. Unpublished Masters thesis. University of Stellenbosch.

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