Mozart's most psychologically complex opera is brought to life in an amazing production
Some may have found Cosi Fan Tutte outrageous and perhaps even vulgar too, but I have always found it very charming and funny as well as thoughtful and psychologically complex. The music is wonderful especially Una Donna Di Quindici Anni, Il Core Vi Dono and Soave Sia Il Vento(the best trio in all opera in my opinion). I do have a slight preference to the 1992 and especially the 1989 productions, however I found this Cosi Fan Tutte amazing.
On a visual level, while not as luscious as the 1992 performance, it can't be faulted. The performers are costumed in sumptuous period dress, the production is beautifully lit and the sets are pastel-coloured and plain which gave a sense of colour to it. The videography is always solid and sympathetic, likewise with the clear picture quality. I have always loved the music, and it is excellently performed helped by the sound, with stylish orchestral playing and brisk conducting. The overture is very characterful which sets the tone of the performance better than you would expect, while Soave Sia Il Vento is the operatic equivalent of sitting in the bath with champagne and chocolate, in short heaven.
The performances are really impressive, not only can the performers sing and act but they also have a sense of comic timing which is vital for Cosi Fan Tutte. It was the two main ladies who ignited my fire, especially Anke Vondung as Dorabella who is wonderfully coquettish with just the right amount of ditz as well. Miah Persson is a ravishing young Fiordiligi with a beautiful tone to her voice. These two ladies blend beautifully in their duets together, and are equally great individually as well.
Just as good are the performances of Ferrando and Guglielmo, the men at the centre of the action. Topi Lehtipuu has an appealing voice and plays the comedy very well. His Un Aura Amarosa is enough to melt the heart. Luca Pisaroni is much better here as Guglielmo than he was in 2004's Le Nozze Di Figaro where he sang very well but was rather uncharismatic, here he is fabulous with a much more assured presence and brings out the humour of the libretto very effectively. He blends very well with Vondung in their Il Core Vi Dono, and his Donna Meie... is musical and unforced.
Which brings me to Despina and Alfonso. Ainhoea Garmendia is not quite as scheming a Despina as others in the role, but she is very charming and sings the role with just the right amount of agility and fun. For me, the least effective was the Alfonso of the production Nicolas Rivenq. I do think his voice is strong and powerful, and he acts very well. I think it was more to do with how the role was characterised. I personally imagine Alfonso as a world-weary cynic, this production made him too jovial for my tastes.
Before I finish I would like to mention how well done the seductive scene was, with special mention going to Pisaroni and his chest, he bares it in a way that I rarely seen so effectively or seductively for any production of Cosi Fan Tutte. Overall, I loved it, thought it was amazing. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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