• Rossini: The Italian Girl in Algiers
    Photography by Felix Sanchez

  • Rossini: The Italian Girl in Algiers
    Brown Theater | Sung in Italian with projected English translation.

    From the moment she lands on the Algerian coast to rescue her true love, Lindoro, we know the resourceful Isabella is going to outsmart the conniving Mustafà, whose great hope is to find an Italian wife for himself. Mezzo-Soprano Daniela Barcellona, making her HGO debut in the role of Isabella, is internationally renowned for her mastery of the bel canto repertoire. Her breakthrough performance ten years ago at the Rossini Opera Festival led to performances at all the major opera houses. Critics have praised her voice and technique, saying, “The timbre is true mezzo, truly beautiful — nothing forced or artificially coloured — and her range is impressive.” (Gramilano.)

    A winner of the Richard Tucker and Marion Anderson Awards, Lawrence Brownlee (Lindoro) has emerged as one of the most prominent bel canto tenors on the world stage. He made his HGO debut in Cinderella in 2007, and returned in 2011 for The Barber of Seville, where he showcased his technical acrobatics in the rarely heard aria, “Cessa di piú resistere,” earning accolades from the Houston Chronicle for “his vibrant tenor carrying with force, range and brightly ringing tone.” Of his 2008 debut at the Metropolitan Opera, The Associated Press noted, “His lyric voice falls on the ear with unusual sweetness, even in its upper reaches, yet it carries enough punch to be clearly heard in the vast Met auditorium. He has mastered the bel canto technique of fast runs, trills and ornamentation that Rossini requires.”

    Buffo bass extraordinaire Patrick Carfizzi returns to HGO to star as the Turk Mustafà. Last seen as Dr. Bartolo in HGO’s The Barber of Seville, where his comic timing delighted the audiences, he was also part of the cast of Cinderella in 2007. The Houston Chronicle noted, “Carfizzi not only sings with immense power, but is scene-stealingly funny.” A regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Canadian Opera, he has won the Richard Tucker Award, the George London Award, and the Sullivan Award among others.

    The Italian Girl in Algiers is one of Rossini’s most popular operas, with a score marked by brilliant orchestration and witty melodies. Italian conductor Carlo Rizzi won the first Toscanini competition for conductors in 1985 after which he often conducted at Covent Garden. In 1992, he became Music Director of Welsh National Opera, a post he held until 2009, conducting an extensive range of repertoire. Future plans include Simon Boccanegra at Zurich Opera, Il turco in Italia in Amsterdam and Salome in Brussels. He made his HGO debut conducting Verdi’s Aïda in 2007.

    Director Joan Font and Designer Joan Guillén, return to HGO for their third Rossini production, a series that began in 2007 with their witty version of Cinderella and continued in 2011 with The Barber of Seville. Founders of the Barcelona-based Els Comediants company, their productions are noted for whimsical comedy.

    A co-production with Teatro Real, Madrid; Maggio Musicale, Florence; and Opera National de Bordeaux.

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