Rompin’ with Rossini

Even by the standards of Rossini comedies The Italian Girl in Algiers is a bit daft.  Mustafà, bey of Algiers, is tired of his wife and plans to get rid of her by marrying her off to his Italian servant Lindoro.  He wants an Italian girl because well squire, nudge nudge.  He instructs his sidekick and commander of the galleys Haly to procure one or be impaled (a somewhat pointed joke that runs through the piece).  He shows up with Isabella and her sidekick Taddeo.  Isabella just happens to be Lindoro’s squeeze.  She immediately starts to plot their escape and persuades Mustafà that to succeed with Italian girls he must become a Pappatacci which involves eating enormous amounts of food and not getting upset when his beloved gets off with other men.  With Mustafà in a pasta induced near coma the lovers escape and Mustafà reconciles with his wife.  Got that?

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