"You must find me an Italian. I have a yearning for one of those women who hammer away at so many gallant men,” sings Mustafà in the first act of The Italian in Algiers. Defined by Stendhal as “the perfection of the buffo genre”, this playful drama by Gioachino Rossini is inspired by real events - the story of Antonietta Frapolli, a Milanese lady kidnapped by pirates in 1805, brought to the harem of the governor of Algiers and then returned to Italy. Among the creations by Rossini most-performed throughout the world, the opera returns to La Scala in the celebrated version of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, part of a triptych dedicated to the comic theatre of the composer from Pesaro which also includes the Barber of Seville directed by Leo Muscato and the production of The Turk in Italy directed by Roberto Andò. Having become a classic in 1973, when La Scala opened its season for the first time with an opera buffa, this year with staging by Ponnelle, taken up once again by Grischa Asagaroff, former assistant of the great French director and scenographer. Directing the orchestra will be Maestro Ottavio Dantone, known to the public of La Scala for having directed Handel, Mozart and Rossini. Meanwhile, in her debut at the Piermarini, the mezzosoprano Cecilia Molinari, in the role of Isabella, considered one of the most interesting young performers of Rossini’s work. The expert cast also includes Carlo Lepore (Mustafà) and the elegant Maxim Mironov (Lindoro), along with Marco Filippo Romano (Taddeo), Enkeleda Kamani (Elvira), Francesca Di Sauro (Zulma) and Alessandro Luongo (Haly).