About this Recording
100120 -

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)

L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers), comic opera in two acts
From the Schwetzinger Festspiele 1987
Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart and Bulgarian Men's Choir Sofia / Conductor: Ralf Weikert / Directed by Michael Hampe
Running Time : 117 min, incl. 20 min Interview with Michael Hampe
Menu languages: PAL: GB, D, F, SP NTSC: GB, F, J, SP
Subtitle languages: PAL: GB, D, F NTSC: GB, J, F
Region Code: 0
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Sel. No. 100 120 PAL
Sel. No. 100 121 NTSC

Following the triumphant premiere of L'Italiana in Algeri at the Venetian Teatro di San Benedetto on 22 May 1813, Rossini commented: "I believed that the Venetians would consider me mad after hearing my opera. Now it appears that they are even madder than I." This opera, with its then typical Oriental atmosphere, brought Rossini's breakthrough as an opera composer. At only 21 years of age he composed this early masterpiece, which even today comes across as a perfectly unified piece, in only 18 or 27 days. This recording is of a guest performance by the Zurich Opera House at the 1987 Schwetzingen Festival and was made in the Schwetzingen Rococo Theatre. Production was by Michael Hampe, set design and costumes were by Mauro Pagano, and Ralf Weikert conducted. The German mezzo-soprano Doris Soffel, who has achieved international acclaim primarily for her Wagner roles, performs the virtuoso title part of Isabella.

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