Music by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Angelo Anelli
Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: Ekaterina Malaya
Set Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
Costume Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
Lighting Designer: Irina Vtornikova
Video Designer: Viktoria Zlotnikova
Musical Preparation: Alexander Rubinov
Chorus Master: Pavel Teplov
Italian Language Coach: Maria Nikitina
By the will of the sea element and at the whim of the Algerian bey, the beautiful Italian Isabella was captured. But it is not in the habits of a temperamental beauty to submit to fate and men: she easily turns around two admirers to reunite with a third, at the same time saving a married couple from divorce and many compatriots from slavery. What a character! Gioacchino Rossini gave the main role in his first full-scale opera buffa, An Italian Woman in Algeria (1813), to his beloved voice – a coloratura contralto – and to his beloved woman (or rather, one of them), the magnificent Marietta Marcolini. The sound of a deep and juicy timbre in the part, replete with fantastically virtuosic violins, conquers already from the first cavatina of Isabella – Cruda sorte, and there are also enchanting ensembles ahead, and the proud patriotic rondo Pensa alla patria. Rossini is no less generous with other soloists: for the cantante bass, mobile and melodious, he wrote the most difficult part of the bey Mustafa, for the tenor di grazia – a luxurious Lindoro part full of high notes, with a wonderful output aria Languir per una bella, preceded by an elegiac French horn solo. The other heroes also have spectacular numbers, but when they gather in ensembles, the score begins to sparkle so that it takes your breath away, especially in the famous finale of the first act – with its onomatopoeic leapfrog "ding-ding! boom! bang-bang! kar-kar!": truly, as Stendhal said, organized perfect madness! By bringing soloists to the fore, Rossini also made his opera crowded: it is populated by singing concubines and eunuchs, corsairs and janissaries, Berbers and Italians. In this "sea of the most laid-back comedy" (Stendhal) from time to time there are islands of gentle lyrics and reflection: Rossini is able to make you laugh, delight, turn your head, and touch and inspire.
"But the evening is getting dark blue, it's time for us to go to the opera soon, there's an intoxicating Rossini ..." The advice of the classic is definitely worth following!