Hungarian State Opera Set to Make Hungarian Premiere of Rossini’s “L’italiana in Algeri”

By Logan Martell

On November 18, 2017, Hungarian State Opera will be performing Rossini’s “L’italiana in Algeri,” making it the first production of the opera ever staged in the city of Budapest.

The production comes as part of Hungarian State Opera’s ongoing mission to bring new or rarely-seen operas to audiences in Hungary. The opera itself boasts a marriage of the humor of farce with the beauty of bel canto, and is set in the coast of North Africa, a region notorious for its beauty belied by the looming danger of pirates. This work follows in the tradition of “rescue operas” which feature a damsel-in-distress awaiting her savior; the leading lady, Isabella, is far from helpless as she uses her wit to turn the tables on her captor Mustafa, the lecherous ruler of Algiers.

Director Mate Szabo is noted for his recent productions of Busoni’s “Doktor Faust,” Wagner’s “Das Liebesverbot,” and Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Led by conductor Francesco Lanzilotta, the production will feature a double cast of Hungary’s finest young performers., such as Szilvia Vörös, Viktória Mester, Zita Szemere, Orsolya Sáfár, Attila Dobák, and Marcell Bakonyi. Joining them are international guest singers Vassilis Kavayas, Alasdair Kent, and Bruno Taddia.

The production is set to premiere at Budapest’s Erkel Theatre, running November 18 to 19and then resuming from the 23rd to the 26th.