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The Sunday Opera: Rossini's "Il Turco in Italia" from La Scala

This year’s holiday season is upon us with even more stress than usual, so we’re offering some lighthearted romance and fantasy on this week’s Sunday Opera (12/6 3:00 p.m.) as we begin with Giaochino Rossini’s “Il Turco in Italia” from La Scala.  It’s an afternoon of lost love, new love, regained love, and forgiven love as the story of Selim (Alex Esposito) arrives in Naples only to find himself attracted to Donna Fiorilla (Rosa Feola), the free-spirited wife of Don Geronio (Giulio Mastrototaro). 

Geronio has no control over his wife but is urged into action to stop her flirting by his friend Don Narciso (Edgardo Rocha) who is secretly in love with her.  Add to this mix a poet named Prosdocimo (Mattia Olivieri) who is trying to help Zaida (Laura Verrecchia) find her one, true love who just happens to be Selim as well as various disguises and a costume party with all of the prerequisite mistaken identities, and it all conspires to come to a happy ending.  We’ll continue in a happy vein with two pieces written for the stage.  The first is a suite of symphonic fragments written by Gian Francesco Malipiero for three comedies by the great Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni.   After that, we’ll revisit a ballet (by popular demand) by Josef Bayer.  Die Puppenfee (The Fairy Doll) begins in a magical toy shop and looks at the interaction and happy “lives” of three of the dolls: Punchinello, a fashion doll, and a soldier.

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.