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The Sunday Opera: Gioachino Rossini's "L'inganno felice" from the Opera Festival of Chicago

It’s an afternoon filled with the music of Gioachino Rossini on this week’s Sunday Opera (11/6 3:00 p.m.). The day begins with “L’Inganno Felice” (“The Happy Deception”) in a production from the Opera Festival of Chicago, one of the five opera buffa Rossini wrote for the Teatro San Moise in Venice which were all very well received.

Before the opera begins, Isabella (Katherine Beck), the wife of Duke Bertrando (Kenneth Tarver) has fallen prey to the wicked Ormondo (Frank De Vincentis) who desires her. Ormondo convinces Bertrando that Isabella is unfaithful and bribed a henchman named Batone (Matthew Ciuffitelli) to cast Isabella adrift in the sea.

Ten years have passed when the opera opens, and Isabella has confided in Tarabatto (Alexander Adams-Leytes), the local miner who saved and has protected her, disguising her as his niece, what had happened and that she was still in love with her husband.

Fate has it that Bertrando has come to inspect the mines. Once there, Ormondo and Batone recognize Isabella and plot to abduct her. They are overheard by Tarabatto who unmasks them, and Isabella is happily reunited with her husband.

Emanuele Andrizzi conducts the Opera Festival of Chicago Chorus and Orchestra.

Our second opera is another of the five operas written for the Teatro San Moise. “L’Occasione fa il ladro” (“Opportunity Makes a Thief”) deals with switched suitcases, mistaken identities, impersonations, and a happy ending. This cast includes Maria Bayo, Natale de Carolis, Iorio Zennaro, Francesca Provvisionato, Fabio Previati, and Fulvio Massa with Marchello Viotti conducting the English Chamber Orchestra and Ursula Duetschler playing the harpsichord.

In the time we have left, host Michael Kownacky will be sharing three non-opera works by Rossini: two of his Sonatas for Strings (No. 1 in G and No. 3 in C) and excerpts from Rossini’s Sins of Old Age performed by pianist Alessandro Marangoni.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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