Julie Fuchs stars Fiorilla in the new production of 'Il turco in Italia.'
When a Turk comes to Italy, the married women roll their eyes in delight, their rival lovers lose out, and the husbands rage with jealousy. These may be silly clichés, but they are the subject of this dramma buffo. The composer Gioachino Rossini plays with them – quite deliberately. He knows that he is putting archetypes of Italian comedy on stage with figures such as the exotic lady-killer Selim, the young woman Fiorilla, who is chained to the stove at home, but adventurous, and her husband Geronio, who is ridiculous because he is much too old – and relishes the ironic exaggeration. This is revealed by the fact that he introduces a poet into the action who is looking for subject matter for a play. Throughout, he constantly comments ironically on both the felicitous and the less successful punch lines in this simple yet ultimately sophisticated comedy.
Il turco in Italia was premièred in Milan in 1813, but the clichéd attitudes towards encounters with unfamiliar cultures have not changed much at all to this day: when a Turk comes to Italy, prejudices, platitudes and misunderstandings are still not far off. This is why, quite apart from its fast-paced music and arias of breakneck virtuosity, the plot itself is also reason enough to stage a new production of this Rossini opera.
The German director Jan Philipp Gloger, who most recently staged an original interpretation of Vivaldi’s opera La verità in cimento in Zurich, will direct the piece. Of course, the fun of a buffo opera written by Rossini will only shine if it is unleashed by spirited musicians and soloists. This will be ensured by Enrique Mazzola at the rostrum and Julie Fuchs in the virtuoso role of Fiorilla, flanked by experienced Rossini performers such as Edgardo Rocha, Nahuel Di Pierro, Renato Girolami and Rebeca Olvera.