As a music lover, I was excited when I found out that The Atlanta Opera was a new c21 client. I studied opera in college and usually attend at least one opera every year, so this is right up my alley. We had our first meeting at their offices on Northside, where we got a behind-the-scenes look at The Atlanta Opera’s full rehearsal space and costume shop. The week before a production is set to begin they move rehearsals to The Cobb Energy Center, which is where they have performed since it was built in 2007.
Last Thursday, Meigan and I were able to attend the final dress rehearsal for The Italian Girl in Algiers. It was Meigan’s first opera, and it was a good one to start with since it is incredibly funny. With music written by Gioachino Rossini and libretto written by Angelo Anelli, it is sung in Italian with English super-titles, so you know what is going on even if you don’t speak Italian.
In this whimsical, madcap adventure set in a 1930’s pop-up book, the heroine, Isabella is captured by an Algerian ruler who dreams of adding an Italian wife to his harem. Once imprisoned, Isabella turns the tables with her charm and teaches the ruler a lesson before she escapes.
Sandra Piques Eddy, who plays Isabella, has a great voice and comedic timing that’s reminiscent of Lucille Ball in her slapstick style. I also love that this opera is unique with its strong female heroine who rescues herself as well as her man.
The Italian Girl in Algiers runs through May 5, and is the final Opera of the 2012-2013 season. Tickets can be purchased online at atlantaopera.org. The 2013-2014 season will begin in October 2013, with new Atlanta Opera General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun at the helm, and I can’t wait to see what he will do! Next season’s operas include Tosca, Faust and The Barber of Seville.