Say what you will about Calixto Bieito’s slasher 2004 production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (vile, repulsive, sickening), it had at least a very definite point of view, which is more than can be said about Michael Thalheimer’s 2007 staging at the Staatsoper.
Olaf Altmann’s sleek stage design explores dualities of light and dark, but is poorly matched by Thalheimer’s static and unfocused direction.
Thalheimer primarily directs for theater, and his handing of the spoken text in this Singspiel is the best part of his production. Characters speak in various tongues, which is a clever riff on the libretto’s cross-cultural setting.
The primary draw of the 2015 revival should be the superb soprano Laura Aikin as Konstanze.