L'italiana in Algeri
Conductor: George Petrou
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Dramma giocoso in two acts to an Italian libretto by Angelo Anelli
Director Stefano Vizioli
Set and costume designer Ugo Nespolo
A new production by Fondazione Teatro di Pisa and Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste
Characters & performers
|Mustafà, Bey d’Algeri||Nicola Ulivieri|
|Elvira, moglie di Mustafà||Olga Dyadiv|
|Zulma, schiava confidente di Elvira||Silvia Pasini|
|Haly, capitano dei corsari algerini||Shi Zong|
|giovane italiano schiavo favorito di Mustafà||Ruzil Gatin|
|Isabella, signora italiana||Chiara Amarù|
|Taddeo, compagno d'Isabella||Nicolò Ceriani|
|Coro di Eunuchi del serraglio, di Corsari algerini, di Schiavi italiani, di Pappataci.|
|Comparse di Femmine del serraglio, di Schiavi europei e di Marinai.|
|La scena si finge in Algeri.|
Mustafa, Bey of Algiers, is sick and tired of his wife Elvira who, anguished, confides in Zulma and tries to make up with her husband. But Mustafa is inflexible in his decision of separating and he even orders Haly, captain of the pirates and one of his most faithful followers, to find him an Italian wife. Besides, he decides that Elvira has to merry Lindoro, a young Italian man who’s been enslaved. Lindoro, in his turn, bewails his sad fate, being far away from his Home and from his beloved Isabella and tries, in vain, to hold out against the Bey’s decisions.
An Italian vessel, hurled on the roadstead by a storm, is boarded by the Bey’s pirates. Exulting for the spoils, the pirates soon notice a very beautiful lady. It’s Isabella, a young Italian girl who’s facing the dangers of a sea voyage looking for her fiancé Lindoro. She travels with the fearful and lovesick Taddeo. Haly decides to send Isabella to Mustafa’s seraglio, but the young Italian lady, skilled and smart, is ready to use her seductive arts. She pretends to be the niece of Taddeo who, though refractory and jealous, plays the part.
Meanwhile, at the palace, Elvira and Lindoro are unwilling to accept Mustafa’s will, but Lindoro at last accepts, because Mustafa, just to get rid of his wife, has promised to let him return to Italy as long as he brings Elvira with him.
Isabella, now at court, bewitches with her charm Mustafa, who soon gives in to her requests and sets Taddeo free.
Elvira and Lindoro are about to leave and say goodbye to Mustafa. Isabella recognizes her lover and asks who’s the woman with Lindoro. Mustafa reveals his plan, but Isabella upsets the entire game. Elvira will have to stay with the Bey, while Lindoro will be her own personal slave. Mustafa at first protests, but then gives in: he can’t resist to the girl’s charm.
The eunuchs, Elvira, Zulma and Haly make fun of the change in the Bey, who’s become Isabella’s laughingstock. In the meantime, the Bey wants to be sure of Taddeo’s complicity, believing him Isabella’s uncle, and appoints him “Kaimakan”, that is a lieutenant. The poor Isabella’s suitor, fearing for his head, accepts the appointment and the task of convincing the reluctant girl.
In her luxury room, Isabella is dressing in Turkish style for her date with Mustafa, but reassures Elvira inviting her to be patience. Isabella has already made everything clear with Lindoro and together they’ve prepared an escape plan.
Mustafa is preparing for the date with Isabella and organizes a seduction plan with Taddeo: when he gives the signal, a sneeze, Taddeo has to go out and leave them alone.
But Isabella and Lindoro create a series of deceiving situations that throw everyone into confusion. Taddeo, confused by Lindoro and convinced to be Isabella’s chosen one, does not leave the room in spite of the numerous sneezes. Isabella, after having charmed Mustafa with her coquetry, invites Elvira for a coffee. Mustafa is furious, but Taddeo and Lindoro makes him believe that Isabella has been charmed by him and now wishes to confer a honorary Italian title, making him her “Pappataci”, title that imposes to eat, drink, sleep and keep silent. Mustafa is enraptured by such love attention.
Isabella and Lindoro organize a plot helped by the Italian slaves, eager to be set free. They distribute a lot of alcoholic drinks to the eunuchs and the moors in the palace.
Mustafa is received by numerous Italian slaves disguised like Pappataci who put on him their same dress. Isabella chairs the ceremony and, to instruct Mustafa, exchanges with Lindoro love words. On the other side, Taddeo instructs the Bey in eating and keeping silent, and Mustafa is caught in the snare.
But there arrives a vessel! It comes near the palace and all those presents hurry up to sail.
Taddeo, understanding that Isabella and Lindoro have cheated him, too, reveals their betrayal to Mustafa who, being a good Pappataci, doesn’t care. Only when the vessel is far away Mustafa, rebuked by Elvira and Zulma, realizes what happened and calls to order the drunk eunuchs and moors, but in vain.
Mustafa is worn-out and ends up by seeking comfort in the love of the faithful Elvira, who’s ready to forgive him.