23rd, 26th February 2014 · 1st, 11th, 13th, 15th March 2014 – The performances start at 8:00 pm. Sundays and holidays, at 7:00 pm
Approximate Duration: 2 h 50 min
L’italiana in Algeri
Mustafà Burak Bilgili (23rd, 26th February; 1st March); Simón Orfila (11th, 13th March); Ricardo Seguel (15th March)
Elvira Anabel Pérez Real *
Zulma Cristina Alunno *
Haly Germán Olvera *
Lindoro Antonino Siragusa
Isabella Silvia Tro Santafé
Taddeo Giulio Mastrototaro
Dancers and extras Yester Mulens (Tiger), Alejandro Amores, Gianluca Battaglia, Laura Bruña, Joan Crespo, Diana Huertas, Jonathan López, Cristina Reolid, Marine Sánchez, Fatima Sanlés, Liza Taberner, Marta Toledo, Ismael Turel
Extras: Víctor Montesinos, Javier Romero
* Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo
Conductor Ottavio Dantone
Stage Director Joan Font (Comediants)
Set Designer and Costume Designer Joan Guillén
Lighting Designer Albert Faura
Choreography Xevi Dorca
Co-production Teatro Real/Maggio Musicale Fiorentino /Houston Grand Opera /Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux/Ballet de la Generalitat
Inmaculada Gil-Lázaro, director
Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana
Francesc Perales, chorus master
Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
L’italiana in Algeri
Palace of the bey Mustafà in Algiers. Elvira complains that her husband Mustafà no longer loves her. Tired of her and the women in his harem, he has asked Haly, his captain, to find him an Italian woman. Anxious to get rid of his current wife as soon as possible, Mustafà intends for her to marry Lindoro, a young Italian who was captured by his pirates and since then has been a slave at the palace. Lindoro, who longs to return to his country some day to meet his sweetheart Isabella again, sees the bey’s proposal as the only chance for him to be free, even though he has to take Elvira with him to Italy.
Meanwhile, there is a shipwreck very near the coast. Haly and his men don’t take long in making off with the plunder and capturing the survivors. Amongst the survivors is Isabella, a brave young woman with a strong character who is travelling the seas in search of her fiancé Lindoro. She is accompanied by old Taddeo, a friend in love with her whom the pirates want to sell as a slave. To avoid this fate, and following a quarrel caused by Taddeo’s jealousy when he sees she does not feel the same for him, Taddeo and Isabella agree to say that they are an Italian uncle and niece.
This is a relief for Haly, as he has now found an Italian woman as the bey asked of him. At the palace, Mustafà tells Lindoro that he has prepared a ship for him and Elvira to set sail for Italy as soon as possible. Despite her husband’s contempt, Elvira still loves him and does not want to lose him. When Haly bursts in with the news that he has already found a beautiful Italian woman, Mustafà enthusiastically leaves to get ready to meet her. Lindoro consoles the unhappy Elvira and tries to make her see that it is best for her to leave her heartless husband. In the main hall of the palace, a ceremony is being prepared to welcome Isabella. When introduced to the bey as “the Italian woman”, she has to stop herself from bursting out laughing when she sees such a ridiculous person, and she has a feeling that it won’t be too difficult to manipulate him and take control of the situation. Elvira and Lindoro interrupt the reception to say goodbye to the tyrant before they leave for Italy. At that moment Isabella and Lindoro recognise each other, although they decide not to show it. Taking advantage of the fact that Mustafà is enraptured by her, Isabella asks him not to banish Elvira and let Lindoro be her personal servant.
Surprised by how easy and quick it has been for “the Italian woman” to make Mustafà submissive, Elvira harbours some hope of regaining her husband’s love. The bey orders a hall to be prepared for him to have coffee alone with Isabella. Isabella meets up with Lindoro and reproaches him for trying to marry Elvira. But he explains to her that that was his only chance to be free from Mustafà, and he promises her that he will think of a plan for them to run away together. Mustafà offers Taddeo the title of Kaimakan (the equivalent of deputy), which Taddeo feels he has no choice but to accept so as not to annoy Mustafà. Furthermore, the bey agrees with him that he will sneeze as a sign for Taddeo to leave him alone with Isabella. The time of their meeting arrives and Mustafà introduces Taddeo as his Kaimakan to win the young woman’s affection. After a short time he sneezes, but his Kaimakan pretends not to understand and does not leave. To top it all, Isabella has also invited Elvira for coffee, which infuriates the bey. Alone with Taddeo, Lindoro explains his escape plan. Taddeo then confesses he is not Isabella’s uncle, but her lover. Lindoro stops himself from laughing, as he needs Taddeo’s help to trick Mustafà, who bursts in that moment, still annoyed by what happened when having coffee. Lindoro explains to the bey that Isabella wants to show him how much she cares for him by calling him her pappataci (eat and be quiet). When Mustafà asks them about such an honour,
Taddeo and Lindoro tell him that it is a position given to Italian husbands, meaning that they caneat, drink and sleep as much as they want, and not take any notice of what occurs around them. The bey is delighted to receive such an honour. Isabel prepares the investiture ceremony of Mustafà as a pappataci, which all the Italian slaves in the palace attend. The bey sits down to eat. Isabella flirts with Lindoro to Mustafà’s annoyance, but Taddeo reminds him he must ignore what is going on: he must only eat and keep quiet. The bey obeys, convinced he is doing the right thing, as he understands perfectly that this forms part of the ceremony. A ship is being prepared outside and all the Italian slaves embark, followed by Isabella and Lindoro. Taddeo, realises he is also being tricked and warns the bey that they are about to escape, but Mustafà, like a good pappataci, pays no attention and continues eating in silence. When he finally responds it is too late to stop them. Mustafà has learnt his lesson and goes back to his wife Elvira. Everyone is happy and they praise the virtues of the resourceful Italian woman who managed to dominate Mustafà.
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