Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cosi fan tutte

On Monday evening David and I saw Lyric Opera's production of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. The time period, for some reason, was set at the time of World War I, which made the libretto even more confusing than it would normally seem.

The cast was uniformly good but somehow it never excited me. It seemed a bit lack-luster.

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Andrew Stenson as Ferrando has a fine tenor voice and sang with fervor.

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Joshua Hopkins as Guglielmo was good but not exciting.

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Alessandro Corbelli was reliable as Don Alfonso.

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Ana Maria Martinez has a lovely voice with excellent high notes but her low range is lacking substance. Unfortunately, the role of Fiordiligi has a very wide range and the singer needs a strong low voice to bring the best to it. To quote Wickipedia: 'According to William Mann, Mozart disliked prima donna Adriana Ferrarese del Bene, da Ponte's arrogant mistress for whom the role of Fiordiligi had been created. Knowing her idiosyncratic tendency to drop her chin on low notes and throw back her head on high ones, Mozart filled her showpiece aria Come scoglio with constant leaps from low to high and high to low in order to make Ferrarese's head "bob like a chicken" onstage.

Ms Martinez did not 'bob like a chicken', but her low notes were not in balance with her lovely high ones.

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Marianne Crebassa as Dorabella has a beautiful voice and sang very well but sounded too much like Ms Martinez. In their first scene together I had trouble figuring out who was who from the sound of their voices.

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As Despina, Elena Tsallagova was excellent both vocally and dramatically.

The conductor was James Gaffigan, making his debut at the Lyric.