Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Belmonte is hoping to find his bride Constanze at the palace of Pasha Selim in the Orient. She was seized by pirates on the open sea with her maid Blonde and Belmonte’s servant Pedro, and sold to the Pasha. Belmonte’s attempt to gain entrance to the Pasha’s seraglio is thwarted by the resistance of Osmin, the Pasha’s steward.
Pedrillo too experiences difficulties with Osmin. He is extremely mistrustful of everyone and every stranger.
Belmonte meets Pedrillo and learns that the Pasha is wooing Constanze but that she is still faithful to Belmonte. Pedrillo is faced with a similar problem: Osmin wants Pedrillo’s beloved, Blonde, who has been given to him as a slave.
Belmonte is introduced by Pedrillo as an architect at the Pasha’s court. Both decide to make an early escape with their ladies.
Constanze is suffering from her separation from Belmonte, to whom she has sworn to be faithful. Her situation is becoming increasingly critical: the Pasha allows her a time-limit of one day to freely decide in his favour.
Pedrillo cunningly makes Osmin drunk.
Constanze and Belmonte are finally reunited but their encounter is overshadowed: Belmonte suddenly doubts his beloved’s faithfulness. In witnessing Constanze’s deep disappointment, he perceives the injustice of his suspicion. The escape fails. Osmin awakes too early. The four runaways are arrested. The Pasha recognises Belmontes as the son of his arch enemy who once stole his beloved and destroyed his life in the Occident.
Constanze and Belmonte wish to die together.
Instead of exacting vengeance, the Pasha sets the captives free: “You must rid yourself of those you cannot win over by good deeds.”