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Ensemble

Anti-romantic Opera

Opera North's 'Così fan tutte',
recommended by MIKE WHEELER

 

If Don Giovanni is, as has been claimed, the first great romantic opera, then Così fan tutte, Mozart and Da Ponte's follow-up, is their great anti-romantic opera, in which philosopher Don Alfonso aims to puncture the bubble of unreality in which the two pairs of lovers start out.

Last seen in 2009, Tim Albery's production for Opera North (Theatre Royal, Nottingham, UK, 8 March 2016) is mostly played out in a huge camera oscura, the laboratory in which Don Alfonso conducts his experiments in human behaviour, tempting his two young officer friends, Ferrando and Guglielmo, to make a reckless bet on their girlfriends' constancy under pressure.

William Dazeley's Alfonso is every inch the slick operator masterminding the operation (he even cues the conductor to start the overture), beaming smugly at the audience at the end of Act 1 as his plans take effect, but hinting, in the dark colouring he brings to his brief Act 1 solo number, a back-story suggesting that he is not entirely the detached observer he claims to be...

Copyright © 14 March 2016 Mike Wheeler,
Derby UK

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WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART

COSI FAN TUTTE

TIM ALBERY

OPERA NORTH

NOTTINGHAM THEATRE ROYAL

NOTTINGHAM

UNITED KINGDOM

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