Abduction from the Seraglio

Lyric opera of Kansas City

  • …a pacy, amusing retelling at the hands of Alison Moritz…

  • When settings are updated like this, one often has to put up with losing out on something, to a greater or lesser or extent, but here, Moritz seemed to have her cake and eat it.

  • In sum, this was a most successful and enjoyable performance of Mozart’s Abduction, blithely bringing together both old and new, with some beautiful performances.

  • A smart remake!

    KC Studio
  • Opera changes slowly (are we really still having debates about the appropriateness of blackface?) so successful, intelligent approaches to that problem are welcome.

    KC Studio
  • Stage director Alison Moritz and her design team are to be applauded for their whimsical reinterpretation of The Abduction from the Seraglio

    KC Independent

Production Details

Production Highlights

  • New Production
  • Lyric Opera of Kansas City, 2019 (also seen at Opera Omaha and New Orleans Opera)

Creative Team

Alison Moritz
Michael Christie
Scenic Design:
Steven Kemp
Costume Design:
Mary Traylor
Lighting Design:
Anshuman Bhatia
Photo Credit:
Karli Cadel

A Message From Alison

I’m an opera geek through and through, so learning the cultural and historic context of a piece like Abduction is incredibly fun for me. But, opera lovers today face a big challenge - how do we continue to enjoy the historic core repertoire even as our contemporary society changes? In the case of Abduction, it isn’t easy to laugh at centuries-old jokes about beheadings, religious extremism, women in forced sexual captivity, and authoritarian control. 

The design team and I wanted to find a way for current audiences to enjoy the wit and humanity of Abduction as a form of popular entertainment, with references that would be immediately accessible and enjoyable. So - we’ve shifted the visual language of this projection to a world of good guys and bad guys, dramatic rescues, and zany hijinks: 1940s cinema. At the center of the action, we have a classic love triangle inspired by Rick, Ilsa, and Victor Lazlo in Casablanca, and the Pasha's nightclub has been transformed into an international nightclub à la Rick's 'Café Américain'. Even as the hero and heroine reunite, threats of corruption and war loom in the background. Pleasure always has a price.


  • REVIEW:Tinseltown Mozart in Kansas City (Bachtrack)
  • REVIEW:Hometown tenor debuts in Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s The Abduction from the Seraglio (KC Studio)
  • REVIEW:Lyric's wittingly absurd Abduction rides on fine performances (KC Independent)
  • REVIEW:Kathryn Lewek Leads Strong Cast (Opera Warhorses)

Production Photos

  • A scene from a live stage production of Abduction from the Seraglio, directed by Alison Moritz.
  • A scene from a live stage production of Abduction from the Seraglio, directed by Alison Moritz.
  • A scene from a live stage production of Abduction from the Seraglio, directed by Alison Moritz.