Rossini: Il Turco In Italia (Il Turco In Italia: Alaimo/ Papatanasiu) (Arthaus Dvd: 101391)
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Il Turco in Italia is one of Rossini's wittiest but most neglected works. It is full of ingenious and freshly composed invention. It is Rossini's first collaboration with Felice Romani - Bellini's librettist - on this opera and Romani understood perfectly Rossini's love of pastiche and parody. He provided a commedia dell'arte scenario that gave Rossini plenty of opportunity to mock traditions he had helped to cultivate in the first place. The plot is delightfully salacious and among the many jewels in the score, the duet for Geronio and Selim, in which the Turk tries to persuade the ageing husband to sell his wife to him, is widely considered one of the composer's masterpieces.
Amongst the singers appearing on this DVD are the highly sought-after Sicilian bass Simone Alaimo, the Greek soprano Myrto Papatanasiu, who became known to a wider public after her appearance as Violetta in Zeffirelli's Traviata in Rome in 2007 and the legendary basso-buffo and pupil of Bruscantini, Bruno de Simone.