Opera directors rarely collaborate, but double act Leiser and Caurier have been doing so for 30 years. The pair are Royal Opera House veterans, and best known for adding a wacky touch to Rossini's operas.
Il turco in Italia is arguably the composer’s frothiest. A handsome Turkish womaniser, Selim, arrives in Naples on his own cruise ship and proceeds to woo the coquettish Fiorella. An dab-hand at seducing men and with a husband and toy boy in tow, Fiorella proves to a greater challenge than Selim had bargained for.
If you’re tickled by innuendo, this comic opera has your name on it. Some say it also has a soulful side (hinted at by a wistful horn solo in the overture) amongst the flirting, nudity and raucous fun, but critics unanimously decided that this production basks in the opera’s sunny hedonism without giving much attention to a hidden depth.
Christian Fenouillat’s kitsch 1960s set is so colourful you can almost feel the Neapolitan heat. Bass-baritone Ildebrando d’Arcangelo and Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak return as Selim and Fiorella. In 2010, Kurzak was criticised for lacking a strong hold over Rossini’s high-pitched melodies, but there was an alluring chemistry between them as the opera’s nymphomaniacs.
The light-hearted score doesn’t quite reach the ranks of Rossini’s more poignant comedies, but there are flashes of the composer’s musical genius. These will no doubt be highlighted by conductor Evelino Pidò, acclaimed as one of the world’s leading interpreters of Italian repertoire.
While Il turco in Italia has been described as a lot of silly nonsense, most believe it’s all the better for it.
For tickets: Royal Opera House website link below.
|What||Rossini's Il Turco in Italia, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
11 Apr 15 – 27 Apr 15, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House website.|