Notes & Reviews:
The Pesaro Festival's new offering in 2013 was an off-the-wall production of Rossini's popular comedy, 'The Italian Girl in Algiers', presented as a Swinging Sixties, James Bond adventure, set in the desert oil fields of the North Africa. Davide Livermore's gag-a-minute, helter-skelter romp followed an alarmingly life-like air-crash, which delivered the 'Italian girl' from Rome into the clutches of the local oil baron, Mustafa. All three lead singers (Alex Esposito as Mustafa, the high tenor Yijie Shi as the young lover Lindoro, and Anna Goryachova as the agile-voiced mezzo-soprano of the title role) were met with the audience's roaring approval of the evening's entertainment. ''Italian bass Alex Esposito commanded our full attention as Mustafà... a spirited, charismatic actor of inextinguishable theatrical energy.'' - Opera Today "Davide Livermore's Rossini stagings are filled with wisdom and wit. Here again, he is sure handed.'' - Seen and Heard InternationalNotes & Reviews:
Run Time: 178 min.
Picture Format: Blu-Ray, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): Dolby Digital Stereo, DTS 5.0 Surround
Subtitles: English, French, German, Korean
What is particularly noteworthy about this production, though, are the vocal and physical skills displayed by the cast. Yijie Shi sings beautifully, and Anna Goryachova is agile, adaptable, and clearly having fun on stage both vocally and in some particularly delightful costumes. Alex Esposito’s Mustafa is a treat to watch, as he chews up the scenery with Anna, the interplay between the two being both funny and a touch sweet as Anna’s Isabella does what is necessary to convince Mustafa that he really should go back to his wife and treasure her.
Jose Ramon Encinar does a fine job conducting the orchestra, and they do a wonderful job bringing Rossini’s score to life. While there are parts of the production that seem a little “hokey”, that is also part of the charm of this particular experience. I thoroughly enjoyed this from the initial video-screen based animation, to the cleverly designed rotating set (also featuring a large video projected surface), to the helicopter ladder escape during the Pappataci sequence at the end of the second act.
The extra “Making Of” feature is definitely worth watching, as it gives some background into this particular production itself, as well as a sense of the individual performers. This is quite simply a fun, vocally satisfying performance, and the Blu-Ray quality of the recording enhances both the audio and the delightful costume work. Recommended!
Submitted on 01/22/15 by KlingonOpera
Works DetailsRossini, Gioachino : L' italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers), opera
- Performers: Mario Cassi; Alex Esposito; Anna Goryachova; Yijie Shi
- Conductor: José Encinar
- Ensemble: Teatro Comunale di Bologna Chorus
- Period Time: Romantic
- Written: 1813
- Studio/Live: Live