Scottish Opera Presents Rossini with a Twist, The Italian Girl in Algiers

Scottish Opera presents the second opera in its Italianate Autumn season, a wickedly funny interpretation of Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers. Acclaimed New Zealand theatre director Colin McColl gives us Rossini with a twist, featuring a multi-media set full of visual and aural treats.

Opera was the soap opera of Rossini’s day and this production doffs its hat to both the rich history of opera and the role of soaps in today’s society. Set in a tv studio during the filming of Algiers, a popular Latin soap about the lives and loves of the Mediterranean super-rich, the action continues even when the cameras have stopped rolling.

On set, the traditional opera plot forms the soap’s storyline. Mustafa wants a new, specifically Italian, wife and is scheming to get rid of the old one by setting her up with the dashing Lindoro. Italian beauty Isabella is shipwrecked off the coast and, along with her entourage, is brought ashore by Mustafa’s crew. Things start going awry for Mustafa when Isabella discovers long lost love Lindoro, and it’s only a matter of time before a whole host of romantic entanglements ensue. Meanwhile, off set, we get a glimpse into life behind the scenes...

Director Colin McColl says, ‘I first listened to Rossini’s shimmering orchestrations in my office overlooking Auckland’s beautiful Waitemata Harbour - Waitemata means ‘sparkling water’. It’s not surprising to learn that Rossini composed this work for the Venice Opera House surrounded by water and in a way, my emotive response to Rossini’s music was the basis for our concept.’

Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill (critically acclaimed for her role as Rosina in Sir Thomas Allen’s 2007 production of Il barbiere di Sivigla) returns to Scottish Opera to star in the title role of Isabella, while Glasgow-born Thomas Walker also makes a welcome return to the Company. Italian bass Tiziano Bracci, who has most recently performed with the Vienna State Opera and Deutsche Oper in Berlin, makes his début with the Company. New Zealand Opera Music Director Wyn Davies conducts.

The Italian Girl in Algiers is a co-production with NBR New Zealand Opera, who premiered the production in Wellington in June 2009.


Theatre Royal Glasgow
Wed 21 Oct, Fri 23 Oct*, Sun 25 Oct ^, Thu 29 Oct, Sat 31 Oct
Box Office: 0844 8717647

Eden Court Inverness
Sat 7 Nov
Box Office 01463 234234

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Sat 14 Nov
Box Office: 01224 641122

Festival Theatre Edinburgh
Fri 20 Nov*, Sat 21 Nov, Wed 25 Nov, Fri 27 Nov
Box Office: 0131 529 6000

*Italian Girl in Algiers Unwrapped – 6pm
Performances 7.15pm (Aberdeen 7.30) ^ Sunday matinee 4pm


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