During the first six years of its existence (1782), there were thirty-four performances in Vienna. The first performance in New York was in 1860. The first performance in Italy did not take place until 1935, at the Florence Festival and the Opera was first heard at the Metropolitan, New York in 1946, in English, with Steber, Alarie, Kullman, Carter, Ernster, and Conductor Cooper.
In 1779, Mozart began the music for a Singspiel, perhaps in desperation at the small prospects for operatic composition and performance, which Salzburg offered. It was abandoned, possibly owing to the arrival of the commission for Idomeneo, and was only published in 1838 under the title of Zaïde; it did not reach the stage until 1866.
The reasons are not far to seek, it was conceived on a modest scale-too modest for Mozart's real requirements--and its subject and style were Turkish, very close to those of the Opera he undertook a little later...(Kobbé's Opera Book/"The Abduction from the Seraglio"(1987)).