Cleverly funny, sparkling and fast-paced, L’Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) is a comic opera inspired by the real kidnapping of a lady from Milan by pirates. The opera was composed by Gioachino Rossini in 1813 and was soon hailed as a masterpiece – so much so that the great nineteenth-century French author, Stendhal, praised L’Italiana in Algeri as “perfection of the opera buffa”. The opera perfectly blends Rossini’s talent of mixing serious and comic elements in a delightful work. The story has some relevance in today’s world, where unfortunately piracy and kidnapping have yet to be eradicated.
In the starring role, mezzosoprano, Marianna Pizzolato, one of the best interpreters of the Isabella, the Italian girl, demonstrates her ‘lunacy’ in a very funny and exuberant production by the renowned Spanish Director, Joan Font. Marianna Pizzolato graduated magna cum laude from the Bellini Conservatory in Palermo; and, after taking a master class with the famous Italian opera buffo star, Enzo Dara, made her operatic début in 2002 in the title role of Rossini’s Tancredi. Marianna Pizzolato now appears in major opera houses in Italy and abroad. Marianna is a favourite returning guest at the Rossini Opera Festival, where, in 2006, she first sang L’Italiana in Algeri. She has performed under the baton of the famous Italian Maestro Riccardo Muti and has sung with Placido Domingo at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Il suo debutto operistico risale alla stagione 2002/03 interpretando il Tancredi di Rossini a Pesaro.Young, determined and energetic, Marianna Pizzolato says that her passion for singing arises from the colours and flavors of Sicily, the place of her birth.
One of the most highly regarded Rossinian singers, Bass-Baritone, Marco Mimica sings the role of Mustafà, the Bey (Governor) of Algiers. Marko Mimica’s voice is natural, ringing and full. He was described in The Telegraph as singing with “keen musical intelligence”, and by The Guardian having “an ability to inhabit fully the characters he portrays.
Superstiziosa?Mimica graduated from the Music Academy in Zagreb and in 2007 won First prize at the State Competition in Dubrovnik. After his 2008 debut with the Croatian National Theatres in Zagreb and Rijeka as Papageno in The Magic Flute, Mimico continued in many major roles, including among others, Dandini in La Cenerentola (Cinderella), Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, Monterone in Rigoletto, Colline in La Bohème and the title role in The Marriage of Figaro. Mimico debuted at the BBC Proms with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and also sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Mimica was one of the top five finalists in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition where he was honoured as “a new talent with great potential”.
The opera is performed by the renowned Opera di Firenze with the Orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by the distinguished interpreter of Italian opera, Sebastiano Rolli.
The Royal Opera House Muscat presents L’Italiana in Algeri on two nights, Thursday 9th and Sunday 12th February 2017 at 7:00 pm. For further information and booking consult the ROHM website – www.rohmuscat.org.om