Gioachino Rossini

L’Italiana in Algeri

Oct 4 - Oct 26

James Levine conducts this comedy of a feisty Italian girl turning the tables on her bumbling captors via Rossini’s blend of madness and fun. Mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato makes her Met debut in the title role, opposite tenor René Barbera and baritone Nicola Alaimo. Bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov plays the pasha who is overcome by love and pasta.

Please note that Marianna Pizzolato replaces Elizabeth DeShong, who has withdrawn due to illness, for the entire run of this production.

Read Synopsis Read Program
  • Sung In
  • Italian
  • Met Titles In
  • English
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Estimated Run Time
  • 3 hrs 2 mins
  • House Opens
  • Act I 72 mins
  • Intermission 35 mins
  • Act II 75 mins
  • Opera Ends
Oct 4 - Oct 26

This production has completed for the season.

Be sure to check out our remaining productions on the season list.

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Premiere: Teatro San Benedetto, Venice, 1813. One of Rossini’s earliest successes (written when he was 21), L’Italiana in Algeri is clearly the product of youthful vitality and charming irreverence. The score of this comic farce is a brilliant convergence of giddy madness and creative sophistication. The opportunities for comedy in the paradigmatic story are obvious, but the surprise is in the masterful way the music makes the situations come alive, and in the genuine human emotion of the characters.


Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868) was the world’s foremost opera composer in his day. Over the course of just two decades he created more than 30 works, both comic and tragic, before retiring from opera composition at the age of 37. Angelo Anelli (1761–1820) was a jurist, poet, and librettist, and was also an early proponent of Italian unification. One of his librettos became (with alterations) the basis for Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.

Production Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Set Designer Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Costume Designer Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

Associate Designer David Reppa

Stage Director David Kneuss

Revival Stage Director David Kneuss

Gioachino Rossini


Gioachino Rossini


The opera is set in Algiers in the early 1800s. Although this places the action geographically close to the Italy of Rossini’s time, this part of the Ottoman Empire was closed to all but the most limited trade and interaction with Europe. It remained unknown to most Europeans other than as an exotic, often dangerous place made famous by the pirates of “Barbary,” another name for North Africa.