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Side view of theater at dusk with white baffles

Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers Opens July 21


Edward Hastings’ 2002 Storybook Production Returns to Santa Fe

View or Print Press Release (PDF)

July 21, 25, at 8:30 pm, August 3, 9, 17 at 8:00 pm

Sung in Italian with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

A Revival of The Santa Fe Opera’s 2002 Production.

First Performed at The Santa Fe Opera in 2002.

Premiered in 1813 at Venice’s Teatro San Benedetto.

Music by Gioachino Rossini

Libretto by Angelo Anelli

Santa Fe, NM – The 21-year-old Gioachino Rossini rocketed to fame in 1813 with twin masterpieces, one serious and one comic. First launched was Tancredi, a “heroic opera” centered on long-ago warfare between the Byzantine Empire and Arabic Muslims. Its premiere in February was a phenomenal success, with Rossini’s first biographer calling it “a genuine thunderbolt out of a clear, blue sky for the Italian lyric theatre.” The Italian Girl in Algiers opened just three months later. This time, Rossini explored the comic possibilities of the relationship between the European and “Moorish” cultures, as they were then called. The result was one of his finest and funniest comedies, set to music of enormous vitality, and it was an immediate smash hit. The composer himself described its giddy audiences as “even crazier than I am.” Stendahl soon crafted the perfect four-word description —“organized and complete madness”— and no less a fan than Richard Strauss later said he was “mad with enthusiasm” for it.

Three wild and crazy guys compete for the affections of “The Italian Girl” Isabella. The tenor Lindoro is her true love, but he’s been captured by the bass Mustafà, blowhard ruler of Algiers, who’s desperate to trade in his home-grown wife for a sleek foreign model. Taddeo, the “hope-springs-eternal” baritone, is equally desperate and equally willing to do just about anything to win her hand.

Through a series of madcap machinations worthy of the Marx Brothers, with music to match, Isabella bamboozles Mustafà and his entire army, liberating Lindoro and escaping with him back to Italian shores. The cast sings the moral of the story as they depart:

The beautiful Italian girl

Who came to Algiers,

Has taught lovers

Who are jealous and haughty

That a woman, if she wishes,

Can fool the entire world.

“Audiences will want to see Italian Girl because it will be packed with hijinks and laughter-inducing pranks that will keep them chuckling even when they leave the theater,” wrote Director Shawna Lucey. “It’s the ideal combination of perfect music and non-stop comedy for a fun and wild night at the opera! We have updated his folly-filled work to the 1930’s with sets by Robert Innes Hopkins and costumes by David C. Woolard. Our Amelia Earhart-inspired Isabella leads the antics of our tale, and with her artful pranks we see how love and desire make fools of us all and how ‘a determined woman will always have her way.’”

Cast & Creative

Director: Shawna Lucey*+

Scenic Design: Robert Innes Hopkins

Costume Design: David C. Woolard

Lighting Design: Duane Schuler

Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Original Production: Edward Hastings

Isabella: Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano

Lindoro: Jack Swanson*+, tenor

Mustafà: Scott Conner*, bass

Zulma: Suzanne Hendrix, mezzo-soprano

Taddeo: Patrick Carfizzi+, bass-baritone

Haly: Craig Verm+, baritone

*debut, +former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


Additional Events Surrounding The Italian Girl in Algiers

Preview Dinners

Enjoy an opera-themed dinner, including wine, at our open-air cantina on the beautifully landscaped rehearsal grounds. A speaker will offer a brief introduction to the evening’s opera during dessert. At just $70 a person, a Preview Dinner is a great way to kick off your night at the opera.

Prelude Talks

Your road map for the evening’s performance, these talks are complementary to ticket holders and are held in Stieren Orchestra Hall twice before most performances. The first talk is given two hours before the performance and the second is one hour before. Please inform us if you would like to pick up your tickets in time to attend a lecture, as we generally open the media lounge just one hour before the performance. Please note that Prelude Talks are not offered before the Apprentice Showcase Scenes on August 12 and 19.

Backstage Tours

Come discover how an opera production comes together. On our “behind-the-scenes” tour, you will explore many of our production and front-of-house areas. Tours for the 2018 season are offered once daily at 9:00 am, Monday through Friday: Until August 24, 2018. Tours are one hour long and start at the Box Office. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), and free for children and young adults up to age 22. Comfortable dress and footwear is recommended.

Ranch Tours

An extended tour of the grounds, known as the “Opera Ranch,” meets at the Box Office at 10:00 am on the following Fridays: July 27and August 24 in 2018, and include a “Meet the Artists” presentation by one of our apprentice singers. The Ranch Tour is $10. Reservations are not required.

Opera Insider Days

A free event hosted by The Guilds of The Santa Fe Opera on Saturdays (through August 25). At 8:30 am, join us for coffee, juice, and pastries followed by a lively talk about a particular area or opera-related craft from an opera insider, and conclude with a backstage tour. For those attending with children, ask about our scavenger hunt. Reservations are not required.

The mission of The Santa Fe Opera is to advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to ensure the excellence of opera’s future through apprentice programs for singers, technicians, and arts administrators; and to foster and enrich an understanding and appreciation of opera among a diverse public.