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.