Composed in 1780, two years before The Abduction from the Seraglio, Zaide contains melodies of incredible inventiveness. The opera lacks an overture, a finale and many spoken dialogues, yet the missing elements allowed Sellars to elaborate and transform the work into a grand manifesto against slavery. Sellars' vision provoked a scandal, as it had previously in Vienna and London, but the Cour de l'Archevêché has experienced plenty of scandals.
The opera stars Russel Thomas (Sultan Soliman), Ekaterina Lekhina (Zaide) and Sean Panikar (Gomatz) and is conducted by Louis Langrée with the Salzburg Camerata. Sellar’s assistant director said of the performance: "You probably won't share this vision, you may be shocked or even remain indifferent to our contemporary approach, however, it is a gift and we hope that you will greet it with open arms and open minds."
Iván Fischer (conductor), Nicholas Hytner (stage director) – Luca Pisaroni (Guglielmo), Miah Persson (Fiordiligi)
Vladimir Jurowski, Jonathan Kent – Gerald Finley (Don Giovanni), Luca Pisaroni (Leporello), Kate Royal (Donna Elvira) – Glyndebourne Festival