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The Singing TurkOttoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon$
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Larry Wolff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795777

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795777.001.0001

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Pappataci and Kaimakan

Pappataci and Kaimakan

Reflections in a Mediterranean Mirror

(p.250) 8 Pappataci and Kaimakan
The Singing Turk

Larry Wolff

Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, considered as a Venetian triumph for Rossini in 1813, employing Turkish themes that resonated with Venetian-Ottoman history. The libretto by Angelo Anelli had been composed earlier by Luigi Mosca. Rossini’s opera is considered in the context of Mediterranean piracy and captivity, and interpreted as an opera of conquest in which the heroine Isabella executes a successful European campaign against the Algerian Mustafa Bey—in some sense anticipating the French invasion of Algeria in 1830. The farce of reciprocal Ottoman-European honors—Pappataci and Kaimakan—is shown to reflect not the unbridgeable differences but rather the Mediterranean resemblances between the Napoleonic Italians and the Ottoman Algerians. Isabella’s famous aria “Pensa alla patria” presented Italian patriotism within an Ottoman scenario. The basso Filippo Galli sang the role of Mustafa Bey, as he sang all of Rossini’s leading Turkish roles.

Keywords:   Algeria, Angelo Anelli, captivity, Filippo Galli, L’Italiana in Algeri (Rossini), Mediterranean region, Luigi Mosca, Napoleon, piracy, Gioachino Rossini

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