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Space Oddity

Lyric Opera takes Mozart where no man has gone before.


Space Oddity Lyric Opera takes Mozart where no man has gone before. Back in the day, the ship at the center of Mozart's opera Abduction From the Seraglio was a traditional seafaring vessel. Two hundred years later, it's become a spaceship in Lyric Opera Cleveland's update, which sets the action on Mars rather than in Turkey. "[Characters] talk about leaving on a ship, and that started an association in my mind," says artistic director Jonathon Field. "I never thought my board [of directors] would go for it, but they're as nutty as I am."

Abduction retains the original 1782 plot: A pair of heroes sets out to rescue their kidnapped lovers from an evil ruler. But the story — once an East-vs.-West allegory — now focuses on conflict between aliens and humans, with plenty of allusions to Star Trek and Stars Wars along the way. "The metaphors are more apparent," says Field. "I'm trying to do it without making fun of Mozart or science fiction, and it's a bigger challenge than I realized."
July 1-2, 7 p.m.

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