L’italiana in Algeri


Rossini L'italiana in Algeri opera to a libretto by Angelo Anelli. Directed 2013 by Davide Livermore at the Pesaro Festival. Stars Anna Goryachova (Isabella), Alex Esposito (Mustafà), Yijie Shi (Lindoro), Mario Cassi (Taddeo), and Davide Luciano (Haly). José Ramón Encinar conducts the Orchestra & Chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Designs by Nicolas Bovey; costumes by Gianluca Falaschi. Released 2014, Blu-ray disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Update on 2015-01-25 by Henry McFadyen Jr.

Eric Myers, writing in the December 2014 Opera News (page 59) praises the singers and orchestra. But he pulls the plug on Livermore, complaining that everyone from lead soprano to the most obscure extra are seen "all twisting and frugging, grinning and grimacing, and doing their utmost to steal the focus. It becomes excruciating to watch."

Richard Osborne, writing in the December 2014 Gramophone (page 109), also praises the music but states, "Unless you are looking for two and a half hours of 1970-themed, multicolored, multimedia mayhem you would be advised to steer clear."

These comments plus a glance at the keepcase cover art tells you what to expect. What market segment was this production aimed at?  Were they trying to lure young people into visiting Pesaro? Or were they going after those who lived through the 60s/70s go-go era, all of whom are now slipping into dotage?