I've always loved Rossini's music, and while I prefer Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, La Cenerentola and William Tell as far as his operas go, L'Italiana in Algeri puts a smile on my face whenever I have had a bad day. This production is fun and well sung, but I just wish the production was better recorded than seen here. Throughout the camera work is often rigid and the lack of close-ups didn't make me completely engage with the singers as much as I would have liked.
However, it looks elegant, much more appealing to the eyes than the otherwise pretty enjoyable Larmore/Alaimo production, and the comedy is witty and reverent. The music is stylishly performed and conducted, and while occasionally overwhelming balance-wise in the recitatives the use of piano was effective.
The singing is great, with Michele Pertusi a splendidly characterised and vocally assured Mustafa, actually attempting to sing the role's difficult colouratura rather than bluffing it, and Anna Maria Di Mico a deliciously vampy Isabella.
Bruno Practico as Taddeo sings with agility and is wholly credible on the acting too, while William Matteuzzi while lacking Florez's effortless ring(for example) is an appealing Lindoro. Overall, well sung, fun and recommended, not as good as the 1986 and 1987 performances, but better than the enjoyable but sometimes visually perplexing 1998 Larmore/Alaimo production.
8/10 Bethany Cox
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