Saturday, August 10, 2013

In Series Kicks Off with Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio

From our friends at The In Series...

The In Series Presents Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio in the Wild West

The In Series proudly kicks off its new season with Mozart's opera Abduction from the Seraglio, transplanted to America's Wild West by DC playwright Bari Biern and director Tom Mallan. Abduction tells the story of two men rescuing their sweethearts kidnapped by a powerful “Pasha” in Mozart’s original, and by “hanging judge” Roy Bean in Biern’s hilarious new conception. Roy Bean, Jr. was a real-life saloon-keeper and eccentric Justice of the Peace in mid-1800s Texas. Abduction from the Seraglio, the first of The In Series’ ‘pocket’ operas of the season, opens Sunday, September 8, 2013 and runs for seven performances through September 22 at Source Theatre in the U Street Arts District. Stanley Thurston conducts a small instrumental ensemble and a stellar cast through the high comedy and drama of Mozart's comic masterpiece.

The American frontier stretches out ahead, but enamoured Roy Bean, Jr. (Scott Sedar) pulls in the reins of freedom and captures the famous English actress Lillie Langtry (Heather Bingham), locking her away in his prison. In real life Lillie toured the United States, including Dallas, Texas, and Judge Bean was a famously obsessed fan. In Abduction, that stop in Texas provides the opportunity to kidnap Lillie, and her entourage Blondie and Pedrillo (Carrie Anne Winter and Nephi Sanchez), the endearing ‘downstairs’ couple of Mozart’s opera. Abduction provides the setting for one of Mozart’s most famous and unforgettable comic characters, the villainous Osmond, played by bass Jeffrey Tarr, in his In Series debut. Both the Judge/Pasha, and acclaimed tenor Joseph Haughton as Belmont, the romantic lead, vie for Lillie’s affections. An ensemble of cowboys and saloon-girls provides the principals with plenty of comic relief.

The choreography is by Angelisa Gillyard. Set Design is by Jonathan Hudspeth and Lighting is by In Series resident designer Marianne Meadows.

Performance & Special Events Information:
Abduction from the Seraglio opens Sunday, September 8 at 7:00 pm. Additional performances are Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, Sept. 14 at 8:00 pm; Sunday, Sept. 15 at 3:00 pm; Friday, Sept. 20 at 8:00 pm; Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8:00 pm; Sunday, Sept. 22 at 3:00 pm. Tickets: $40 Adult, $37 Senior (65+), $20 Student & Youth. Box Office: 202-204-7763 or Venue: Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

FREE Directors’ Salon – Monday, August 26 at 7pm at Source, 1835 14th St. NW. The In Series kicks off its Directors' Salon Series with Abduction Directors Tom Mallan and Stanley Thurston, Choreographer Angelisa Gillyard and cast members as they engage with the community for a lively discussion and lovely music examples. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments.


Tom Mallan (Director) has directed and taught theater and film for over 20 years in Latin America, Europe and his native Washington DC, including productions at the In Series, ETC, the Hope Operas, and WSC-Avant Bard. Most recently, he adapted and directed The Mistorical Hystery of Henry (I)V, a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Henry IV for WSC-avantbard at Artisphere. For the In Series, Tom most recently directed Mozart’s Idomeneo in a landmark production at the Atlas PAC. In former years he had directed In Series’ Mozart's Women, Mozart's Men (by Charlotte Stoudt) and the acclaimed Marriage of Figaro: Version Las Vegas (adapted by Elizabeth Pringle and Bari Biern). He also collaborated to create original bilingual adaptations of three zarzuelas: El Barberillo de Lavapiés and La Verbena de la Paloma with Ms. Pringle, and Maria La O with Karen Zacarias. He wrote and directed the 1940s play with music, Swingtime! for the In Series in 2010.

Stanley Thurston (Musical Director/Conductor) is the founding Music Director of The Heritage Signature Chorale and is Music Director at Foundry Methodist Church in DC.He was Musical Director and and conductor for In Series’ recent production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, having before been music director and pianist for the In Series’ acclaimed Arlen Blues & Berlin Ballads in 2011-2012 and From U Street to the Cotton Club, in 2009. He has appeared as a conductor in concert venues including Carnegie Hall, The John F.Kennedy Center for the PerformingArts Concert Hall, the U.S. Capitol,The Music Center at Strathmore and Carter Barron Amphitheater.Well known as a pianist, composer, and arranger, Mr. Thurston’s orchestral arrangements have been performed by the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, New Jersey, and the National Symphony.

Bari Biern (Writer) is a playwright/lyricist/librettist, who most recently provided her English adaptation of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi for In Series’ June 2013 acclaimed production. Before, Bari had written the English libretti for the In Series’ Arlen Blues and Berlin Ballads and for WAM2 (Cosi fan tutte and Don Giovanni), a project in collaboration with The Washington Ballet, as well as the lyrics for the critically-acclaimed In Series’ production of The Marriage of Figaro: Las Vegas Version. Bari’s first musical, A Dance Against Darkness: Living with AIDS (with composer Roy Barber) was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award as Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Resident Musical. She also contributes lyrics to the Capitol Steps, and has been performing with them since 1993.

Carla Hübner (Producing Artistic Director) founded the In Series as the Concert Series of the former Mount Vernon College, in 1982-83. The In Series is increasingly perceived as a unique and vital presence in the DC arts community. During Ms. Hübner’s former career as a concert pianist, she won critical acclaim for performances in the US, Europe and Latin-America, including her native Chile.

About the In Series: 
The In Series was founded by current Producing Artistic Director Carla Hübner in 1982 as the Concert Series of the former Mount Vernon College. During the 1990’s the company expanded to produce full chamber operas alongside a broader multi-disciplinary season. The In Series became an independent non-profit arts organization in 2000, and is a resident company at Source since 2008. Its annual season fills a unique niche of innovative and affordable mostly-opera, mostly-classical music programming. More at

The In Series 2013-2014 season is made possible in part by The Board of Directors of The In Series; the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz, Dallas Morse Coors, Max and Victoria Dreyfus and Billy Rose Foundations; Friends of the In Series (FINS); DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts and the invaluable contributions of artists, volunteers & business sponsors.