It’s not Rossini’s most famous opera. Apart from opera lovers, no one knows this work.
And yet, what a joy in this upheaval.
L’Italiana…. is an opera from the time when opera was popular: you didn’t need to have your music lover’s “card”.
That doesn’t mean this opera isn’t hard to play.
It doesn’t mean there aren’t some beautiful arias.
On the contrary, it is very technical for artists.
But the spectator is taken by the exuberance of the story. By the multiple characters with multiple facets, by this beautiful Italian woman who does as she pleases and leads all her lovers as she pleases.
It’s an opera written on a very classical comedy motif: the rich old man – the bey of Algiers – the beautiful Italian woman – multiple lovers – false identities, all in a very enjoyable and tasty imbroglio.
The Marriage of Figaro, the Barber of Seville are built on these themes too. And this allows us to say everything we are not allowed to say, because we keep the right to laugh.
This 2013 version is complete and it too, shows that seriousness is not always the case at the Opera.
Or more precisely, that comedy and pleasure are such difficult and demanding arts that we no longer even have the impression that the artists are making an effort.
It is works like these, popular works where mastery fades before the joy of the spectator that we will have to put forward in order to participate in making opera popular again.
Featured Image : Cecilia Bartoli in L’Italiana In Algeri