Turkish Delight

Il Turco in Italia is NOT a “lesser” L’Italiana in Algeri!

As some who don’t know Rossini might think: “Well, first he sent an Italian girl to Algeria, and that worked so well, so now he’ll try doing it the other way!” NOT SO!

Although “Turco” is less well known, it is on the same artistic level as “L’Italiana” and we wanted to share some thoughts about this opera in anticipation of its appearance at ROF 2016.

As it turns out, we have an excellent guide in the program notes by the legendary Rossini scholar,Phillip Gossett, written for a CD recording of this opera on Phillips. By the way, the Alaimo in this recording is related to the Alaimo who will be singing in Pesaro. Rossini must run in the family.

Gossett starts by debunking the myth that Turco is filled with self-borrowing. “ Corriere delle dame “( Aug 20, 1814) seems to have been the origin of this story.

Then, Gossett declares that Turco is not a poor relative of L’Italiana.

Some of Gossetts points are:

1. L’Italiana is a zany farce with a serious side. Turco, on the other hand is a “comedy of manners” whose themes seem peculiarly modern.

2. If one wants to link “Turco” to another opera, one should look to Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” !

There are so many between the two operas, according to Gossett, including the librettist, some of the singers who created the roles, and so forth.

So, those of you who are joining us in Pesaro, think “Mozart” when you hear this opera. Our conductor, Speranza Scappucci, brings her Mozart sensibilities with her, and it is bound to be a memorable experience.

For those who cannot make it, we will post information about the RAI broadcast, both here, on FB and twitter.