In Oakland, California, a “Star Trek” spin on Mozart

Posted on: August 3, 2016

In Monday’s (8/1) Mercury News (California), Georgia Rowe writes that the Festival Opera based in Walnut Creek, California is giving Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio “a ‘Star Trek’ setting, boldly going where few productions have dared to go. Presented in collaboration with the Oakland Symphony, Josh Shaw’s staging will receive four performances at Holy Names University in Oakland. The production … beams down just weeks after the opening of ‘Star Trek Beyond,’ the latest film in the ‘Star Trek’ franchise. It marks the 50th anniversary of the original Gene Roddenberry TV series. And … it celebrates Festival Opera’s 25th anniversary.… Shaw’s production moves the action from an 18th-century Turkish harem to the planet M113. The look is decidedly ‘Star Trek.’ Dressed in the show’s signature garb, ‘Captain’ James T. Belmonte embarks on a mission to rescue kidnapped crew members ‘Lieutenant’ Costanza and ‘Mister’ Pedrillo. Instead of the Turkish pashas of Mozart’s original, their captors are ruthless Klingons. The production premiered in 2014 at the Southern Illinois Music Festival…. Oakland Symphony music director Michael Morgan conducts…. Shaw’s vision gives the opera a modern spin while leaving the score intact. ‘We don’t mess with Mozart,’ says [Festival Opera Company Director Sara] Nealy.”

Posted August 3, 2016

Pictured: A scene from the Festival Opera/Oakland Symphony production of Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio.”