Tuesday, February 22, 2011

L.A. Opera's "Il Turco in Italia" Seems Timely Relevant

Machaidze as Fiorilla
(Photo: Lawrence K. Ho/L.A. Times)
"For all its froth, Turco tackles a sensitive subject more pressing than ever. We laugh knowingly but anxiously, recognizing the timely, touchy topics of immigration, racism and sexual exploitation. The veteran baritone Thomas Allen is affectionate and hilariously hapless as the poet Prosdocimo, his influence on the action always at his own physical expense. As Fiorilla, Nino Machaidze, a soulfully dark-toned soprano who made a star turn in the L.A. Opera production of L’Elisir d’Amore last season more as a singer than an actress, proves this time a magnetic comedian. Whether she is changing in an instant from vixen to harridan, putting on makeup or making cappuccino, she continually twirls exquisite Rossinian roulades. Kate Lindsey, who has been garnering attention in New York as an emerging mezzo-soprano, seems a bit all-American as Zaida, but she produced a pure, sure, all-around lovely sound. Maxim Mironov, as Don Narciso, is a true Rossinian tenor, sweet and extremely flexible, but unlike many a Rossinian tenor, he is also able to squeeze into very tight jeans. Simone Alberghini is a suave Selim. Paolo Gavanelli’s henpecked Don Geronio so captures the quintessential buffo Italian patriarch that you almost wish he might try parodying Berlusconi." [Source]

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