|Index||2 reviews in total|
A wonderful, uncomplicated but drafted interpretation of Mozart's most
beautiful conundrum. As in his production for The Magic Flute in
Amsterdam so Eliot Gardiner uses more than the stage for his
production, incorporating aisles and boxes: his conventional alliance
is indubitably with the score, not the tradition.
Consequently the performance is also fresh a lean, straightforwardly told story of the men testing their sweethearts' resolve. Of course there are no winners but Cosi fan Tutte has always seemed a case in Bob Dylan's point, 'You can't be wise and in love'. Indeed Eliot Gardiner just does what it says on the box, allowing the music to make and manage its arguments. The bright set is beautifully caught on film as well. 7/10
Mozart is one of my favourites when it comes to classical music, and
Cosi Fan Tutte is full of sublime music, appealing characters and
charm. Previous to this, I saw the Jean Pierre Ponelle film which I
liked a lot especially for Teresa Stratas and Edita Gruberova and the
1989 production which is my personal favourite of the Cosi Fan Tutte
productions I've seen.
This 1992 production however is truly charming. My only complaint is that it does drag in the first half of the first act, but it picks up significantly after Despina's entrance, which is full of energy with the cast feeling much more at ease as well.
Other than a draggy start, it has all the typical things I love about Cosi Fan Tutte. The comedy is done very well, it is witty and infectious in alternative to slapstick-like, like I have occasionally known it to come across. Not only that, it comes from the music rather than the addition of visual jokes, I don't have a problem with visual jokes, but this for me works better. The production is full of charm too, not just in the music and Despina but also in its look.
Of all the Cosi Fan Tutte productions, this 1992 production is perhaps the most visually stunning. The costumes are sumptuous and true to the period, and the sets, with multiple curtains, beautifully painted backdrops and a floor of inlaid stone to represent an outside courtyard are magnificent. The wonderful detail is helped hugely by some interesting camera work and great picture quality.
Musically, this Cosi Fan Tutte is hard to fault. The orchestra play beautifully and stylistically, and John Elliot Gardiner's conducting is lively with the recitative sections not coming across as stodgy like it can do with a conductor like Karl Bohm for example.
Mozart's music is sublime. Un Aura Amarosa and Una Donna Di Quindici Anni are true gems, but of the whole opera my two favourites are the trio Soave Sia S'Il Vento and the duet between Dorabella and Guglielmo Il Core Vi Dono.
The characters still have their charm, especially Despina, and the story is cute(especially right at the start), swiftly paced and emotionally and psychologically complex.
The performances are wonderful. Claudio Nicolai is a very reliable Don Alfonso, Rainer Trost is a handsome Ferrando with a heart-melting Un Aura Amarosa(the last rendition of that aria that made me really feel that way was Peter Schreier) and judging from Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva and Guglielmo here Rodney Gilfry is born to sing Mozart. Erian James' Despina is a sheer delight, as is Rosa Mannion's lovely Dorabella, however my favourite performance is Amanda Roocroft who is superb as Fiordiligi, showing great agility and her voice in my opinion is much more suited here than a heavier role like Elisabetta DeValois.
All in all, a truly charming and very worthwhile Cosi. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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