The Italian Girl in Algiers: Giving New Life to a 200-Plus-Year-Old Opera

Jul 29, 2016 731

PORTLAND OPERA'S season finale rounds out this week with the end of one opera's run and the continuation of another. Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers, a 200-plus-year-old madcap comedy, picks up where Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1879 Eugene Onegin left off with its final Portland Opera performance Tuesday, July 26.

Both shows bring fresh perspective to classic material, starting with Onegin, which Portland Opera set in the 1980s (rad) and opened on a girl, Tatiana (soprano Jennifer Forni), on a classic merry-go-round in Soviet Russia, surrounded by propaganda posters, wearing overalls and Chucks, and listening to music on a Walkman. With her sister, Olga (mezzo-soprano Abigail Dock, in a killer Rizzo-type getup), Tatiana sings about the future. Knowing this is an opera and not an actual John Hughes flick (though it may look like one), we can safely assume that shit will eventually go down.

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