Written when he was just 22-years-old, Gioachino Rossini’s 13th opera glows with Fellini-esque glamour in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s sun-drenched production.

Il Turco In Italia tells the story of Fiorilla, an insatiable flirt who is bored to death of her husband Geronio. When she encounters the dashing Turk Selim she decides to fall in love, much to the chagrin of her current toy boy.

The young Rossini relished librettist Felice Romani’s outrageous farce, which serves up brazen ridiculousness with cynical delight, but the heroine’s wildly immoral antics caused some consternation at the opera’s premiere on 14 August 1814, which led to the piece’s virtual disappearance from Europe’s stages later in the century.

Il Turco In Italia returned to the stage in 1950 in Luchino Visconti’s La Scala production starring Maria Callas as the incorrigible Fiorilla, which secured the opera’s position as one of Rossini’s most complex and uproarious comedies.

Marking the Royal Opera House’s first staging of the piece, Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s 2005 production evokes the post-war era in which Il Turco In Italia was rediscovered. Rossini’s acerbic absurdities become the ingredients of a glamorous Fellini-esque comedy, set under the baking Neapolitan sun.

The production is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Learn more about London operas within the West End.

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