After Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, Rossini's third most frequently performed opera is L'italiana in Algeri. This titillating tale belongs to the ranks of “rescue operas” – a favourite genre of the era that usually stipulated having a beautiful young woman being captured and awaiting torture or death until her heroic beloved arrives on the scene to rescue her. In this case, a resourceful Italian lass is kidnapped by an Algerian bey yearning for a new wife, and outwits him herself – to everyone else's great satisfaction. The title character, Isabella, is one of the wittiest and most wonderful female characters in the entire operatic literature. This work is being presented at the Erkel Theatre in a production by Máté Szabó.