Nothing is as ugly as revenge. To be human, to be benevolent, on the other hand, is the preserve of a great mind !’— that is the message of the final chorus of Mozar t’s ‘Turkish opera’ Die Entführung aus dem Serail. When Belmonte’s attempt to abduct Konstanze from Bassa Selim’s harem fails, Bassa Selim overcomes his jealousy and magnanimously shows Belmonte forgiveness. Mozart turned up trumps when commissioned by Emperor Joseph II to compose a German Singspiel. The mixture of love and humour, ofbuffa and seria style, seasoned with a little Turkish couleur locale and all combin ed with scintillating music, ensured the immediate popularity of this work (in the Vienna of 1782). With Die Entführung, René Jacobs continues his cycle of the great Mozart operas and once again we can expect to hear Mozart at his most authentic.