Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri

Toni Servillo (stage director), Riccardo Frizza (conductor) — With Christianne Stotijn (Isabella), Maxim Mironov (Lindoro), Marco Vinco (Mustafà) ...

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Toni Servillo — Stage director

Christianne Stotijn — Isabella

Maxim Mironov — Lindoro

Marco Vinco — Mustafà

Ruben Drole — Haly

Giorgio Caoduro — Taddeo

Sabina Willeit — Zulma

Arnold Schönberg Choir

Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Riccardo Frizza — Conductor

Program notes

"A complete and organized madness": it would be difficult to find a more apt description than that of the writer Stendhal to describe this surrealist face, composed by Rossini in a matter of weeks (he claimed 18 days) and premiered in May 1813. In the madcap comedy L'Italiani in Algeri, dadaist sensibilities meet onomatopoetic Italian opera buffa in two acts brimming with frenetic rhythms—seeming to anticipate the films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton—and yet, also, with great tenderness in the arias of Isabella and her fiancé Lindoro, and with the patriotic fervor that animated Venice during the era.

The corsair Mustafà, bored with his wife Elvira, wishes to find a new companion. He intends to marry Elvira off to his Italian slave Lindoro (Maxim Mironov), himself preoccupied with his fiancée Isabella (Christianne Stotijn) in Italy. Unbeknownst to him, Isabella has already made plans to come find Lindoro in Algiers—and upon her arrival, she charms Mustafà and fools him into thinking he has won her affections. Can she keep up the ruse long enough to escape back to Italy with her beloved?

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