The actual division - Opera

Premiere: June 13, 2007 / Main stage       

Comic opera in two acts
Libretto: Angelo Anelli
First performance: May 22, 1813, Teatro San Benedetto, Venice
Director Uschi Horner, as a guest         
Conductor Alessandro Sangiorgi, as a guest
Sets Martina Segna, as a guest       
Costumes Maria Pupuchevska, as a guest
Lights Vasil Lisičov, as a guest
In cooproduction with: CEE Musiktheater, Vienna and Macedonian Opera and Ballet, Skoplje

Premiere Cast:

Mustafa, the bey of Algiers Dragoljub Bajić* / Nenad Jakovljević
Elvira, his wife Snežana Savičić* / Ivanka Raković
Zulma, Elvira’s slave and confidant Željka Zdjelar / Tatjana Mitić
Lindorno, young Italian slave Majkl Spajers k.g. / Saša Štulić k.g.
Haly, Mustafa’s captain Vuk Matić / Nebojša Babić
Isabella, young Italian girl Jadranka Jovanović / Aleksandra Angelov / Nataša Jović Trivić
Taddeo, Isabella’s suitor Predrag Milanović / Miroslav Markovski

Eunuchs, Mustafa’s suitors                                                            
The action takes place in Algeri.
With participation of: Orchestra and Chorus of The National Theatre of Belgrade and members of the Ensemble Renaissance: Aleksandar Jovan Krstić (blowers), Andrej Jovanić (arabian lute) and Andrija Sagić(percussions)

Assistant Conductor Ana Zorana Brajović
Chorus Master Đorđe Stankov
Concert Master Vesna Jansens
Music Associates Nevena Živković, Nada Matijević,  Srđan Jaraković, Ivan Jovanović, Tatjana Ščerbak-Predja
Stage Managers Nikola Kraus, Mirjana Goločevac
Prompters Silvija Pec, Biljana Manojlović
Organizers Snježana Vujasinović, Vanja Kosanić
Translation Borislav Popović
Lighting Designers Milčo Aleksandrov, as a guest, Lazar Streoski
Make-up Designer Dragoljub Jeremić
Stage Master Dimitrije Radinović
Sound Designer Tihomir Savić
*Scholarship holders of CEE Musiktheater
Décor and costumes are designed in the workshops of the National Theatre of Belgrade  


Let’s assume that Rossini has never composed Il Barbiere di Siviglia – in that case, we would not have had any idea about the piece. Hence, what would we say about the score of L’Italiana in Algeri? (It is not our principal intention to avoid comparison!) The overture can be heard in concerts, not so often as the one of The Thieving Magpie, but still it is quite popular. Certainly, there are many tacts in it that are mere “add-ons”, but on the other hand there are many melodies (second theme) written by lucid inspiration. Score of the opera is light: conflicts are rare, just like at the stage. Everything is smooth and gently: we shall not burst into laughter, nor be upset by a sudden dissonant accord. We shall just be amused by light tones of music, beautiful tenor aria, and impressed by extremely hard bass coloraturas. However, we shall be surprised with the fact that main melodies are not placed within solo arias, but within joint singing (“ensemble singing”): it seems that Rossini didn’t want his arias to be sung in the streets, his intention was to motivate audience to come to the theatre and to listen the buffo finale or quintet, or trio in the second act. We shouldn’t be surprised with this as far as Rossini is concerned. It is often said that he used to overload his operas with arias. In fact, if we compare his operas with Mozart’s which we admire so, we shall find  that he wrote significantly less arias: in his Italian operas Mozart composed two or three arias for each of the protagonist – but Rossini seldom did the same (and if he did, he would add to the aria a short cavatina or arioso). To remind you: Mozart’s Figaro sings three arias, Rossini’s only one! Thus we may conclude: “an ensemble opera” (as there is “a choir opera” or “a monologue opera”)? Yes, definitely “an ensemble opera”, but from Rossini’s pen. And it is always in some strange but his peculiar way also opera of arias, although more protagonists sing those arias.       

Borislav Pašćan, 1976

L”Italiana in Algeri is the twelfth opera written by Rossini. It was premiered at the San Benedetto Theatre in Venice, on May 22, 1813. Maria Marcolini, famous diva, appeared as Isabella (Rossini wrote most of his coloratura mezzos for her) and Filippo Galli as Mustafa. Opera achieved great success and in a short time it was put in repertoire of almost all major European opera houses. However, it has been unfairly forgotten for more than a century.

(born: Pesaro, 1792; died: Passy, near Paris, 1868)
Along with Verdi, Rossini was the most famous Italian composer of the 19th century. In 1810, when he was only eighteen, his first one-act comedy La combiate del matrimonio was presented in Venice. His first operas to win international acclaim were Tancredi and L’Italiana in Algeri, also presented in Venice three years later. Then came the triumph with Il Barbiere di Siviglia and since then he occupied an unrivalled position in the Italian musical world. His productivity in composing as well as his growing success enabled him to sign contracts with theatres of Vienna, Milan, and Naples. His contractual obligations per each contract bound him to compose two operas per year. In Vienna he was hailed furiously – yes, furiously is correct word to describe the atmosphere which provoked Beethoven’s anger, in spite of the fact that Rossini always was great admirer of Beethoven’s and Bach’s music. One period of his life he spent in Paris, where he experienced fiasco with his opera theatre, and later became music superintendent. His last opera Guillame Tell was produced in 1829. Although he achieved great success with it, he stopped writing opera for the remainder of his life. In that period he composed Stabat Mater and several shorter works. Up to 1848 he lived quietly in Bologna. Then revolutionary disturbances drove him to Florence. As soon as war against Austria started he returned to Paris. In Paris, he led a big house; he was always well informed about the cultural events, but he didn’t create any more – he devoted himself to the art of cookery. Rossini was the last genial and glorious representative of Italian opera. He based his work in previous 18th century operas. With florid lines, vocal embellishment, incredible speed, and spontaneity, Rossini created some of the most unforgettable music in the operatic repertoire. In Paris he composed a number of French operas in which he fully entered into the spirit of French language, he used heroic costumes and great pathos of great French operas. Although appeared as French all those operas are essentially Italian operas, operas in the Italian style. With Il Barbiere di Siviglia he achieved such a success in the genre of comic opera that no one after him would repeat, particularly when having in mind that after the fiasco with his first comic opera Verdi didn’t compose in this genre till Falstaff, a piece quite different from the old buffo-opera. Rossini’s artistic career was frequently troubled with moments of insecurity; at those moments he was not satisfied even with his best work. However, he was a true artist, great connoisseur of life and above all a witty person. In his early years he was inspired by Simon Mayr, famous Italian operatic composer of Bavarian origins. Later, he borrowed stories for his operas from Walter Scott, and finally he produced his great French operas, among which certainly the most important was Guillame Tell. Rossini accepted every music form very eagerly, although he was not so brave to break already established forms. He brought novelty only by his virtuoso arias. His most presented piece is Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Highly popular are also his overtures, and operatic fantasies.

Taken from: A Book of Operas by Jožef Šulhof, Publishing House “Bratsvo Jedinstvo”, Novi Sad, 1954

USCHI HORNER, director
Born: Vienna, Austria
Staged productions:
1998 Les Miserables / Tanzforum Wien Austria
1999 Grease / Vienna Austria
2000 Little Shop of Horrors    / Vienna Austria
2000 L’Histoire du Soldat / Stadttheater Gütersloh Germany
2001 Bastien und Bastienne    / Festival Schloss Frauenthal Austria
2001 Rinaldo / Oakland/California USA
2002 Vogelhändler / Festival Schloss Frauenthal Austria
2003 Help, help-the Globolinks!/ Schönbrunner Schlosstheater Austria
2003 Im Weißen Rössl / Festival Schloss Frauenthal Austria
2003 Don Giovanni / Festival Schloss Kirchstetten Austria
2004 Der Barbier von Sevilla / Festival Schloss Kirchstetten Austria
2005/07 Music for Kids „Kling Klang“ / Wiener Musikverein Austria
2006 The Old Maid and the Thief / Tournee Germany
2006 Eine Nacht in Venedig    / National Opera Reykjavi Iceland
2006 Around the World in 80 Days / World Premier Austria

Assistant director:
Don Giovanni / Schönbrunner Schlosstheater, Festspielhaus St. Pölten (Michael Temme)
Tanz der Vampire / Raimundtheater Wien (Roman Polanski)
Zauberflöte / Opera San Jose California (Daniel Helfgot)
Entführung aus dem Serail / Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg (Friedrich Meyer-Oertel)
Fledermaus / Ronacher/Wien (Günther Mörtl)
Falco / Ronacher Wien (Paulus Manker)
Carmen 2000 / Hamburg (Michael Temme)
Historia von D. J Fausten / Sofiensäle Neue Oper Wien (Günther Mörtl)
Wiener Blut / Schönbrunner Schlosstheater (Robert Herzl)
Asyl / Anton Bruckner Center (Cheslav Themann)
Das Wintermärchen / Odeon/Neue Oper Wien (Michael Klette)

Pedagogical works:
1988-91 jazz dance / various studios Austria
1990 musical theatre workshop / BORG Hegelgasse Austria
1999 musical theatre / Gymnasium Radetzkystraße Austria
2000 musical theatre / Gymnasium Radetzkystraße Austria
2001 summer program / BASOTI /California USA
2002/03 acting for opera singers /
Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien Austria
2004/05 music for children    / Wiener Musikverein Austria

Choreographies for operas, cabarets, films and TV
Head of the artistic department of the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg
Dialog coach for opera, films and TV    
Writer for libretti and scripts