Premiere August 28, 2010.
Opera. Rossini comedy at its best and soloists of high international standard. A concertante celebration of song starts off our season.
Concertante version of Gioachino Rossini’s (1792–1868) opera in two acts.
We start off the season with a sparkling concertante performance of Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers. The opera also marks the start of Giancarlo Andretta’s appointment as our first guest conductor. This season he will also conduct our production of Lucia di Lammermoor and the plan is for him to conduct end of summer concertante performances each year.
The Italian Girl in Algiers is a masterpiece within the opera buffa genre and contains equilibristic coloratura passages flavoured with exoticism and female liberation. Mustafà is tired of his wife Elvira and wants to marry her off to his slave Lindoro. He lusts after Isabella, who he has kidnapped, but she in turn loves Lindoro. When they all confront each other confusion descends: who belongs to whom? And how will Isabella and Lindoro find a way to escape?
Watch a movie from the rehearsal.
The title role is written for a typical “Rossini mezzo soprano” and we are proud to present our Swedish super star Ann Hallenberg as Isabella (the Italian girl). She has sung this role so often on so many of the big opera stages that it has become her signature role. Andrea Patucelli, of equally high international standing, sings the role of the ruthless and lecherous Mustafà and Maxim Mironow sings Lindoro’s extremely high tenor passages. Markus Schwartz gets yet another opportunity to show off his comical and vocal abilities in the role of Isabella’s faithful servant Taddeo, who nurses an unrequited love of Isabella.
Ann Hallenberg (Isabella)
Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano, has studied at the University College of Opera in Stockholm and in London. She is very successful internationally and regularly performs at opera houses such as Teatro alla Scala in Milano, Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Teatro Real Madrid, Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Opernhaus Zürich, Opéra National Paris, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Semperoper in Dresden, Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Den Norske Opera (The Norwegian National Opera), Kungliga Operan (The Royal Swedish Opera); and Drottningholms Slottsteater (The Drottningholm Palace Theatre). She regularly performs at concerts and festivals all over Europe and North America and has also recorded a number of CDs and DVDs.
Her repertoire includes main roles in productions by composers such as Rossini, Mozart, Gluck, Handel; Monteverdi, Purcell, Vivaldi, and Massenet, with the emphasis on their earlier compositions. Her performances during the last few years include the title role in Handel’s Tamerlane in Madrid with Placido Domingo, Orfeo in Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice in Berlin, the title role of Handel’s Ariodante in Munich, Isabella in Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers in Essen and Hannover, Ramiro in Vivaldi’s Motezuma in Paris and Vienna, Penelope in Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses to His Homeland in Stockholm, Sesto in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito in Lyon, Storgé in Handel’s Jephtha in Strasbourg, the title role in Scarlatti’s Tolomeo in Vienna and Paris, Fulvia in Gluck’s Ezio in Vienna, the title role in Ariodante in Santiago, Agrippina in Venice and Madrid, and Dido in Dido and Aenas in Venice and Amsterdam.
Giancarlo Andretta, conductor
Italian born Giancarlo Andretta is the First Guest Conductor of The Göteborg Opera from the 2010/2011 season onwards. He appears as guest conductor on a regular basis in many concert halls and operas around Europe, including Venice, Rome, Naples, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Copenhagen, Oslo, Lisbon and Athens.
He has previously conducted Rossini’s Cinderella (2003) and Verdi’s Macbeth (2008) at The Göteborg Opera. During the spring of 2011 he will return to conduct Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. From 2003 to 2012 Andretta acts as the Chief Conductor of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, and has been given the title of Professor of Conducting at the Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium (The Royal Danish Academy of Music) in Copenhagen.
After completing his musical studies in Venice and Vienna Andretta started his career in 1988 as soloist répétiteur and head coach at the Wiener Staatsoper (The Vienna State Opera) and the Salzburg Festival. For four years he also held the title of guest professor of piano and choir conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. From 1994 to 1997 he was First Guest Conductor and consultant at the Graz Opera. He left the post when he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Filarmonia Veneta and Head Artistic Director at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy (1996–2003).
Giancarlo has also recorded with a number of opera and symphony orchestras in Europe.