2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS
Rossini: L'italiana in Algeri (Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro)
Anna Goryachova (Isabella); Alex Esposito (Mustafà ); Yijie Shi (Lindoro); Mario Cassi (Taddeo ); Mariangela Sicilia (Elvira); Raffaella Lupinacci (Zulma); Davide Luciano (Haly);
Pesaro’s new offering in 2013 was an off-the-wall production of Rossini’s popular comedy, ‘The Italian Girl in Algiers’, presented as a Swinging Sixties, James Bond adventure, set in the desert oil fields of the North African coast. Davide Livermore’s gag-a-minute, helter-skelter romp followed an alarmingly life-like air-crash, which delivered the ‘Italian girl’ from Rome into the clutches of the local oil baron, Mustafa. All three lead singers (Alex Esposito as Mustafa, the high tenor Yijie Shi as the young lover Lindoro, and Anna Goryachova as the agile-voiced mezzo-soprano of the title role) thoroughly distinguished themselves – and the audience roared its approval of the evening’s entertainment.
"L’italiana in Algeri is probably the finest operatic comedy still performed today. Why? Comedy is subtler than farce and it is in just such subtleties that Rossini scores higher than any other, not least in the musical characterisations of his three main characters. This Isabella [Anna Goryachova] has such determination, your hair stands on end. When she began 'Crude sorti', the foundations of the theatre shook. Hers is a rare, rich, mellifluous, contralto voice, surprisingly small in size, but with every note perfectly placed and almost threateningly expressive. But the greatest applause was rightly reserved for Alex Esposito’s Mustafà. And what a colourful role Rossini hands him: authoritative, mischievous, dignified, scheming, solemn, jokesy. Esposito slips in and out of all of them with immaculate precision and athletic accomplishment of movement. Not too many bassi buffi can appear successfully in beach shorts. But Esposito does, a crown in his hugely impressive delivery. I should mention Davide Luciano’s (Haly) excellent singing of Le femine d’Italia- another basso buffo triumph. Watch that name. Anyone lucky enough to have seen last year’s ROF 'Ciro in Babilonia' or the 2012 'Demetrio e Polibio', will already know the wisdom and wit of Davide Livermore’s Rossini stagings. Here again, he is sure handed. Rossini would have adored it." (Seen and Heard International)
"Italian bass Alex Esposito commanded our full attention as Mustafà with strong, firm fioratura that raged magnificently when necessary. Mr. Esposito in the prime of vocal estate, a spirited, charismatic actor of inextinguishable theatrical energy." (Opera Today)
"The singers are in good form. Mezzo-soprano Anna Goryachova as Isabella is perfect, vocally rich and in her portrayal throughout on a high standard. Also Alex Esposito is vocally on the highest level, despite the stage director's strenuous, almost athletic demands. Rossini was a man of the theatre and knew not only how to compose but also to deliver all the little details which are needed for a comedy: Humour in the story but also in the music. Conclusion: This bold 'L'italiana in Algeri' is exhilarating though perhaps nothing for purists. Sound and visuals are excellent." (Pizzicato ★★★★★)