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The Italian Girl in Algiers
The saucy and spirited Isabella searches for her lost love Lindoro in the foreign country of Algiers, only to find herself the focus of the powerful Mustafa’s unwanted affections. It’s a good thing she knows how to turn the tables to her advantage.
The Italian Girl in Algiers runs 2 hours and 20 minutes
and has one 25 minute intermission.
Main Floor Terraces Platinum: $118
Main Floor, First Balcony, First Balcony Terraces Gold: $89 ($74 Students & Seniors)
Main Floor, First Balcony, First Balcony Terraces, Second Balcony Silver: $57 ($44 Students & Seniors)
First Balcony, Second Balcony Bronze: $34 ($25 Students & Seniors)
In Algiers, at the seaside palace of the Bey Mustafa, his wife Elvira complains that she is no longer loved. Her trusty servant Zulma and her attendants console her but warn there is nothing she can do. Mustafa makes an entrance, boasting that he will never let women get the better of him, and sends Elvira and Zulma away. He tells Haly, his second-in-command, that he has tired of his wife and will give her to Lindoro, his recently captured Italian slave. He orders Haly to provide him with an Italian woman—someone more interesting than the “boring” girls in his harem. Lindoro enters, longing for his sweetheart, Isabella, whom he lost when Mustafa's corsairs captured him. Mustafa orders him to take Elvira, insisting she possesses every virtue that Lindoro values.
Elsewhere along the shore, a wreck is discovered and Haly and the corsairs exult. Isabella arrives in their midst, lamenting the cruelty of a fate that has interrupted her quest for her lost fiancé, Lindoro. Though in danger, she is confident of her skill in taming men. Taddeo, an admirer of Isabella’s, is uncovered in the wreckage and is immediately threatened. Thinking quickly, he claims to be Isabella’s uncle and thus must remain safe by her side. When the Algerians learn that both captives are Italian, they rejoice in having found the new star for Mustafa’s harem. Taddeo is stunned at Isabella’s aplomb on hearing the news. They quarrel, but then decide they will be better off facing their predicament together.
Mustafa promises Lindoro that he may return to Italy— if he will take Elvira. Seeing no other option, Lindoro accepts. Elvira, however, loves her husband and sees no advantage in aiding Lindoro’s escape. When Haly announces the capture of an Italian woman, Mustafa gloats in anticipation of his conquest, then leaves to greet her. Lindoro tries to tell Elvira she has no choice but to leave her heartless husband.
Mustafa welcomes Isabella with ceremony. Aside, she remarks that she feels certain that she will be able to deal with him; he, meanwhile, finds her completely enchanting. As she seemingly throws herself on his mercy, the jealous Taddeo starts to make a scene and is saved only when she declares once again that he is her “uncle”. Elvira, Zulma, and Lindoro arrive to say good-bye, and Lindoro and Isabella are stunned to recognize each other. Each, however, think the other may have been unfaithful in their absence. To investigate further, and prevent Lindoro’s departure for Italy, Isabella insists that Mustafa cannot banish his wife. She adds a demand that Lindoro stay as her own personal servant. Between Mustafa’s frustration, the tormented confusion of the lovers, and the bewilderment of the other guests, delirium reigns supreme.
Elvira and members of the court are amusing themselves by discussing the Italian girl and how easily she has cowed Mustafa, giving Elvira hope of regaining his love. When Mustafa enters, he declares he will redouble his efforts to woo Isabella by visiting her in her room for coffee. Isabella, meanwhile, is upset over Lindoro's apparent unfaithfulness with Elvira. Lindoro soon appears, however, and reassures her of his loyalty. Isabella promises to cook up a scheme to secure their freedom.
Elsewhere, Mustafa and his attendants toy with the cowardly Taddeo. He is told he will be honoured as the Bey’s personal bodyguard, in exchange for helping secure Isabella’s affections. He sees no choice but to accept the compulsory honour.
In her room, Isabella prepares for Mustafa’s visit, telling Elvira that the way to keep her husband is to be more assertive. The Bey, Taddeo, and Lindoro are watching her - and each other - from the shadows as she changes into more seductive attire. When at last she presents herself to Mustafa, he introduces Taddeo as his bodyguard. Mustafa sneezes - a pre-arranged signal for Taddeo to leave - but the jealous Taddeo stays, and when Isabella also invites Elvira to remain for coffee, Mustafa’s displeasure grows. When Isabella insists that he treat his wife more gently, Mustafa bursts into a tantrum while the others marvel at his fulminations.
Once the smoke clears, Haly arrives and takes a moment to wonder at the power of Isabella and Italian women in general. Later, Lindoro and Taddeo plan their escape, and Taddeo insists he is Isabella’s true love. Lindoro is amused but plays along, realizing he needs Taddeo’s help in dealing with Mustafa. The Bey enters, still furious. Lindoro convinces him that Isabella actually cares very much for the Bey. In fact, she wants him to prove his worthiness by entering the (fictional) Italian order of Pappataci. Believing this to be a great honour, Mustafa agrees to the initiation ritual: eat, drink, and sleep to excess, and - most importantly - remain blissfully oblivious to everything around you.
Mustafa arrives for the ceremony and is pronounced a Pappataci. Food and drink is laid out for him, and he is tested by Isabella and Lindoro, who cuddle and snuggle while Taddeo reminds Mustafa that he must ignore all. The lovers prepare to depart. Taddeo suddenly realizes that he, too, is being tricked and will be left behind, so he tries to rally Mustafa. The Bey persists in keeping his vow of paying no attention. When Mustafa finally responds, the situation is beyond his control and all of the Italians make their escape. Mustafa, his lesson learned, begs Elvira's forgiveness. Everyone bids a fond farewell, singing the praises of the clever, resourceful girl from Italy.