An abducted beauty in a harem, a noble rescuer from Europe, a merciless
Muslim ruler - aren't these the ingredients for Mozart's "Die Entführung
aus dem Serail"? Yes, but not only. They are also found in the fragment of
a "Turkish" opera that Mozart wrote shortly before the "Entführung," a work
that was later given the title "Zaide." The fragmentary nature and splendid
music of "Zaide" have long stimulated enterprising artists to attempt
completions or collages to make the work performable. For the Mozart 22
project, Salzburg Festival director Peter Ruzicka commissioned the Israeli
composer Chaya Czernowin to produce a new work that stage director Claus
Guth would then interweave with the "Zaide" fragment.
In "Zaide" we have two lovers, Zaide and Gomatz, held prisoner in a harem
in an imaginary past, somewhere in the Middle East... In "Adama" we have
two lovers, a Woman and a Man, caught in the irreconcilable religious and
political conflicts of today's Middle East. Mozart's themes are
imprisonment, doomed love, culture clash and despotism; Czernowin's are the
same, but transported into our time. She tells of the love between an
Israeli woman and a Palestinian man, a partnership doomed to fail in a
world torn by violence.
Czernowin approached her task with great reverence for Mozart's work. "
Adama establishes a counterpoint to Zaide's plot," she says. "My
contributions to this new 'complete work' are not traditional arias, but
often fragments, musical pieces that are cut in the middle. [...] Mozart's
excerpts alternate with elements from Adama and sometimes overlap as well:
then the two scores are almost synchronized. In that sense, Adama is a
mirror of Mozart's Zaide."
While Ivor Bolton entices a fresh and spirited rendition of the Mozart
score from the Mozarteum Orchestra in the pit, Johannes Kalitzke and the
Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik give a sharp and precise reading
of "Adama" at the back of the stage. An outstanding cast gives performances
of equal dramatic and vocal strength. Commenting on this experiment's place
in the Mozart 22 project, the Financial Times' Shirley Apthorp declared
that "Zaide - Adama stands out for its bold originality."