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Overture to "The Italian Girl in Algiers"

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Gioacchino Rossini

Gioacchino Rossini (arr. Lucien Cailliet)

This work is often referred to by its Italian title, L'italiana in Algeri.

General Info

Year: 1813 / 1953
Duration: c. 8:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Sam Fox
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II-III
Bb Trumpet I-II
Bb Flugelhorn I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


2nd Flute in C. 1 meas. before reh. 6, beat 3: quarter rest should read half rest
2nd B-flat Clarinet. 5 and 6 meas. after reh. 21, beat 3: quarter note should read eighth note (corrected in a later printing)
String Bass. reh. 31, beat 1: A should read B-flat

Program Notes

The Dey of Algiers is bent on capturing the heart of Isabella, the beautiful Italian girl found on an abandoned vessel by the Dey's Captain of Corsairs. The Dey has a difficult problem ridding himself of his wife, Elvira, but he believes he has solved it by his plan to marry her off to Lindoro, Isabella's fiancé. Elvira, proving herself the wilier, manages to arrange the escape of Isabella and Lindoro from the Dey's domains and at the same time retain the affection of her unsuspecting spouse.

-Program Note by publisher

The Italian Girl in Algiers, an opera buffa, was the second of Rossini's works to achieve great success. It was produced in Venice in 1813. Like most of Rossini's operas it is no longer in the repertoire, but the sparkling melodies of the overture have made it a favorite on band and orchestra programs.

-Program Note from Program Notes for Band

L’italiana in Algeri (1813) was first produced in Venice. The opera is notable for Rossini’s mixing of opera seria style with opera buffa.

Although the complete opera is scarcely performed, the overture is still widely recorded and played. It is known for its distinct opening of slow, quiet woodwinds in imitation of pizzicato strings, leading to a sudden loud burst of sound from the full ensemble. This “surprise” reflects Rossini’s early admiration for Franz Joseph Haydn, whose Symphony No. 94 in G Major, “The Surprise Symphony,” is named for the same shocking, semi-comic effect.

- Program Note from University of North Texas Symphonic Band concert program, 9 February 2016

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: VI
  • Kansas: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Maryland: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Minnesota: I
  • Mississippi: VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Clark College (Vancouver, Wash.) Concert Band (Doug Harris, conductor) – 13 March 2020
  • University of Nebraska Lincoln Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 26 January 2020
  • Texas A&M University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Russell Tipton, conductor) – 13 October 2019
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Wind Symphony (Brett Levine, conductor) – 19 April 2019
  • Callanwolde Concert Band (Atlanta,Ga.) (Glenn Moore, conductor) – 31 March 2019
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside Wind Ensemble (Laura Rexroth, conductor) – 18 October 2018
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) University Concert Band (Will Sugg, conductor)
  • Florida International University (Miami) Symphonic Band (Barry Bernhardt, conductor) - 1 March 2018
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Beckett, conductor) - 2 March 2016
  • Lockport Township (Ill.) High School Wind Symphony (Brian Covey, conductor) – 26 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Division Conference, Ames, Iowa)
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Symphony Band (Dennis W. Fisher, conductor) – 9 February 2016
  • Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Boston, Mass.) (Chris Wilhjelm, conductor) – 1 November 2015
  • Ohlone Wind Symphony (Fremont, Calif.) (Tony Clements, conductor) – 18 October 2015
  • Phoenix (N.Y.) Community Band (David Frateschi, conductor) - 3 November 2014
  • Pacific Music Institute (Hawaii) Concert Band (Henry Miyamura, conductor) - 22 July 2012

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Giacchino Rossini." Accessed 4 November 2014.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 520.
  • Rossini, G.; Cailliet, L. (1952). Italian in Algiers: Overture [score]. Sam Fox: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.