This Zurich Opera House production of Rossini's "L'Italiana in Algeri" comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The Italian soundtrack is rendered in PCM Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, making it difficult to recommend this title to anyone other than an opera enthusiast.
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If you don't know opera, or want to introduce someone, especially children, to opera, this is a good place to start, and a very good performance to start with. Rossini makes masterful use of the principle of beauty to convey a hilariously funny situation, and all at the same time as love and patriotism. Young children will be enthralled by this, even if you have to interrupt the music by reading them the subtitles--go ahead. You will watch it so many times, after a while they won't need you to read. The performers are each and all magnificent--no big names here, which means they aren't tripping over oversized sets and/or egos. I would caution not to be put off by the appearance of anti-Muslim attitudes. For those of us who grew up during the Cold War, the mutual suspicion of both societies, living cheek-by-jowel, and desperately depending on each other to keep the peace, is similar to the setting behind the movie ''The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!'' Those of you who are not opera novices: This is for you, too. If you love Cenerentola, you'll love this as much. There's far more slapstick, but, like Cenerentola, it proves that beauty as method, can convey anything, while ugliness only conveys poverty of mind.