Why does Peter Sellars insist on ripping the humanity out of Mozart?
This is Mozart's subtlest critique of man-woman relationships. Sellars has re-contextualised the action in an American diner. This "updating" really trivialises the thesis that men are as bad as women when it comes to deceit and fidelity between the sexes. It takes the bottom line and blanches the heart out of Mozart. This heart is what makes Mozart's greatest operas supremely moving when they speak of the darker sides of human nature.
These operas with their supposed "comic" element are all potential tragedies. The music - especially in COSI - tells us so. In this production, the music of course is the same, but every frame and each directorial nuance conspires to negate Mozart's genius.
The one or two "smart" updates (eg. the sexual relationship hinted at between Despina and Alfonso) do not make up for the mangled results of Sellars's interference with what was obviously perfect in the first place.
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