When a Turk comes to Italy, the married women roll their eyes in delight, their rival lovers lose out, and the husbands rage with jealousy. These may be silly clichés, but they are the subject of this dramma buffo. The composer Gioachino Rossini plays with them – quite deliberately. He knows that he is putting archetypes of Italian comedy on stage with figures such as the exotic lady-killer Selim, the young woman Fiorilla, who is chained to the stove at home, but adventurous, and her husband Geronio, who is ridiculous because he is much too old – and relishes the ironic exaggeration. This is revealed by the fact that he introduces a poet into the action who is looking for subject matter for a play. Throughout, he constantly comments ironically on both the felicitous and the less successful punch lines in this simple yet ultimately sophisticated comedy.