The one hundred and fourty-third classical recording: #210 Gioachino Rossini - L'italiana in Algeri
The start of the year left me with an emptier calendar than usual, giving me time to listen to a long opera today. Thanks to the Livermore Valley Opera, I was able to watch a subtitled performance that did a good job showing the different performances as well, lending to a good build in the performance. This is about the music, though, and Rossini's score, too, feels remarkably light for a long opera. It might be the Algerian influences it's trying to achieve, but there's a levity in the music that isn't necessarily reflected in the subject matter, but leads to an opera that feels it flows fast and at its best stays out of the performer's way.
The story feels like it supports it in some way. While it has a love story, the writing clearly has as much fun with the deception angle, playing parts as a comedy, with Isabella first meeting Mustafa going there a lot.