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Rossini Favorite The Italian Girl in Algiers an Atlanta Opera Premiere

February 27, 2013 | By Emily Genetelli
Communications Manager
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Opera, one of the nation’s finest regional opera companies enriching lives through the power of opera, concludes its 2012-2013 season with a production of Gioachino Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers. This will be the first time The Atlanta Opera has produced this opera, and it will be presented on April 27 and 30 and May 3 and 5 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Nicknamed “The Italian Mozart,” Rossini wrote The Italian Girl in Algiers when he was only 21 years old, and it is considered one of his most successful comedies. A story set inside a pop-up book in the 1930s, the opera begins with Mustafà, the Bey of Algiers, bored with his harem and wife. With plans to divorce his wife and add an Italian beauty to his harem, he orders his captain, Haly, to find an Italian girl for him. Haly captures Isabella, The Italian Girl, as she is searching for her boyfriend, Lindoro, who, unbeknownst to her, has also recently been captured by Mustafà. Hilarity ensues as Lindoro and Isabella plan and eventually succeeds in an escape. Mustafà recognizes that Italian girls are just too clever for him and also realizes he truly loves his wife.

Singing the role of the clever Isabella is mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy, who delighted Atlanta audiences as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro in 2008. Tenor Michele Angelini, debuting with The Atlanta Opera, sings Lindoro. In his Atlanta Opera debut, Turkish bass Burak Bilgili will be performing the role of Mustafà. Singing Taddeo, an elderly admirer of Isabella’s, is Bruno Praticò, also in his Atlanta Opera debut. Soprano Ashley Emerson (Elvira), bass-baritone Frederick Jackson (Haly), and Maria McDaniel (Zulma) also will be joining the cast. Conducting The Italian Girl in Algiers is the Carl and Sally Gable Music Director Arthur Fagen. Atlanta resident Ken Yunker will celebrate his 50th production as lighting designer with The Atlanta Opera during The Italian Girl in Algiers. Helena Binder will be making her directorial debut with this Atlanta Opera production.

The Italian Girl in Algiers will be sung in Italian with projected English translations.

Ticket Information Single Tickets – $25 - $132 plus convenience fees Online – By Phone – 404-881-8885 or 1-800-35-OPERA (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) In-person – Visit the Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and two hours prior to a performance on day of show).

The Italian Girl in Algiers Music by Gioachino Rossini Libretto by Angelo Anelli

Sung in Italian with Projected English Translations Sets from Santa Fe Opera

Atlanta Opera Premiere Approximate Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes including 1 intermission

Four Performances at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, 2013 at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Creative Team Conductor Arthur Fagen Stage Director Helena Binder Set Designer Robert Innes Hopkins Costume Designer David C. Woolard Lighting Designer Ken Yunker

Cast Isabella Sandra Piques Eddy Lindoro Michele Angelini* Mustafà Burak Bilgili* Taddeo Bruno Practicò* Elvira Ashley Emerson Zulma Maria McDaniel Haly Frederick Jackson

Description In this whimsical, madcap adventure set in a 1930’s pop-up book, Isabella is captured by an Algerian ruler who dreams of adding an Italian wife to his harem. Once imprisoned, Isabella turns the tables and rescues the man of her dreams. With more belly laughs than any opera should reasonably permit, Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers will charm your socks off!

* * *

The Atlanta Opera Extras The Atlanta Opera Extras are community outreach initiatives that entertain and educate audiences about opera. A complete listing of upcoming events is below.

Opera 101 In this multimedia presentation by opera aficionado Carter Joseph, audiences learn about the history, background and story line of The Italian Girl in Algiers.

The Italian Girl in Algiers – Monday, April 22 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Free and open to the public, but reservations are required (email or call 404-881-8883 to reserve). The Atlanta Opera Center 1575 Northside Drive NW Building 300, Suite 350 Atlanta, Georgia 30318

Pre-Opera Talks for The Italian Girl in Algiers Pre-Opera Talks are held one hour prior to each performance inside the John A. Williams Theatre at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and provide opera attendees a free sneak peek into the opera they are about to see. Free to ticketholders.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway Atlanta, Georgia 30339

About The Atlanta Opera Founded in 1979, The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation. By producing live, mainstage performances of the highest quality and impactful community engagement experiences, The Atlanta Opera enriches lives through the power of opera. The Opera strives to attract the finest international, national, and regional singers, conductors, stage directors, and designers. Each season, The Atlanta Opera presents three productions at the Cobb Energy Centre, drawing audiences from the entire metropolitan Atlanta area as well as from the Southeast region.

Sponsors and Supporters The Atlanta Opera is grateful for these sponsors and supporters: The Coca-Cola Company, Official Beverage of The Atlanta Opera Delta Air Lines, Official Airline of The Atlanta Opera

City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Georgia Council for the Arts

Generous production support is provided by the Estate of Barbara D. Stewart, and the Atlanta Music Festival Association.

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