I decided to post, from time to time, a finale from an Italian opera (all the really good ones are Italian). It can be from either a comic or serious opera. My only criterion is that it be really good. I’ll start with the finale to Act 1 of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Rossini was 20 years old when he wrote this opera. He had already realized that the world was mad and nothing conveys this message like this lunatic number. The goings on are so crazy that words give way to wacky sounds. There’s no need for any further summary as this finale transcends narrative and language. This excerpt is taken from the great 1954 recording of the complete opera led by Carlo Maria Giulini featuring Giuletta Simionato and Cesare Valletti.
L’Italiana in Algeri act 1 finale
But my favorite of all Rossini operas is the one that got lost in other operas, Il Viaggio especially with that first cast in Pisaro did it after they finally put it all together. Abbado, orchestra and soloists have never been bettered. Such an amazing piece with incredible ensemble after ensemble.
Viaggio and L’Italiana are by far my favorite Rossini comedies. I have several videos of each and enjoyment never diminishes. Viaggio is especially impressive combining so many different characters.