Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri at the Hungarian State Opera

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Over the past few years, the Hungarian State Opera has aimed to stage operas that have never or rarely been performed in Hungary. On 18 November 2017, the Budapest audience can see Rossini’s third most frequently performed opera, L’italiana in Algeri in a production directed by Máté Szabó.

The 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. The story is set in exotically romantic North Africa, which despite its geographic proximity to Italy, was famous chiefly for its pirates. It provided a perfect backdrop to the music, in which the composer combined farce and entertainment with virtuoso bel canto singing, to wonderful effect. The title character, Isabella, is one of the smartest and most wonderful female characters in the entire operatic literature.

This work, which has never been performed in Budapest before, is being produced for the Erkel Theatre by acclaimed young director Máté Szabó, whose name is associated with recent productions at the Hungarian State Opera such as Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Busoni’s Doktor Faust or Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot.

Under the baton of conductor Francesco Lanzillotta, a double cast including the best young Hungarian talents, Szilvia Vörös, Viktória Mester, Zita Szemere, Orsolya Sáfár, Attila Dobák and Marcell Bakonyi are joined by international guest singers Vassilis Kavayas, Alasdair Kent and Bruno Taddia.

Venue: Erkel Theatre, Budapest
Premiere: 18 November 2017
Further dates: 19, 23, 24, 25, 26 November 2017