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L'italiana in Algeri 

Not Rated | | Music | Episode aired 1986
A typical rescue opera involves a kidnapped young woman who faces torture or death - until her heroic lover shows up. But in this one, the roles are reversed: it's a man in desperate trouble, and his clever girlfriend gets him out of it.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Marilyn Horne ...
Isabella
Douglas Ahlstedt ...
Lindoro
Allan Monk ...
Taddeo
Paolo Montarsolo ...
Mustafà
Myra Merritt ...
Diane Kesling ...
Zulma
Spiro Malas ...
Haly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Levine ...
Himself - Conductor
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Chorus
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra
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Storyline

A typical rescue opera involves a kidnapped young woman who faces torture or death - until her heroic lover shows up. But in this one, the roles are reversed: it's a man in desperate trouble, and his clever girlfriend gets him out of it.

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Music

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

1986 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Simply terrific
22 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

L'Italiana in Algeri was a relatively new discovery for me. I love opera and Rossini, so this was a lovely surprise. This 1986 Met production is terrific, with sumptuous costume and set design by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. The camera work is mostly very good, even though there are some distracting close ups of Horne's neck or Levine sweating. The sound is of great clarity.

I also can't fault it much musically either. The orchestra are very stylish, and the chorus excellent. James Levine's conducting and tempos are lively and brisk, if occasionally a little too fast.Marilyn Horne is just wonderful, maybe her high notes are not as spot-on here as they often are, but her musicality, passage work, articulation and her ability to be sympathetic and easy on stage are incredible.

The best of the support cast are a slightly past prime but splendid Paolo Montarsolo and Myra Merritt who is very graceful and has an amazing high note in the first act finale, which Horne uses as an opportunity to steal the show again by knocking Mustafa out. Allan Monk is a very acceptable Taddeo, with a good sound, and while Douglas Ahlstedt is not as prominent as the rest and perhaps not looking much like a spicy Latin tenor he tackles the high tessitura and style very well.

All in all, terrific, and has inspired me to look out for more productions and recordings of the opera. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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