Post Cards from the Edge Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, January 24, 2015 - Florida Grand Opera | Welcome to Fred’s Home Page

Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, January 24, 2015 - Florida Grand Opera 

The more I see and hear opera, the more I realize how everything is tightly interconnected.  It really does make a difference as to the producer, director, and who conducts the orchestra.  Even more difficult must be placing the right singer in the right role.  For example, Jason Slayden, Jonathan Beyer, Sari Gruber and Brenda Patterson all had very nice voices but more suited to the chorus than any lead roles. However, that may have been the point.  

The show stoppers were Arthur Woodley and Ava Pine.  Both were outstanding.  Sladen, Beyer, Gruber and Patterson all had their FGO debut with this opera and there were a few glitches.  In one case, one performer forgot their music and in another case, there was a prolonged period where what was sung was not quite what was translated into English or Spanish on the supertitles and not any Italian I recognize.  It was more like "carry the tune with whatever is handy."

This is my second Così fan Tutte. What set this apart was the interesting time placement.  Instead of the eighteenth century, it seemed to be set in the 1950’s with pool tables and you almost could image poodle skirts on Gruber and Patterson.  Then, you had “older” cast members looking like a fashion page from the 1920’s.  It was a mix and mismatch of costuming that seemed to work.  Instead of dueling with swords, it was dueling with pool cues.  

In any case, Wikipedia says Così fan tutte literally translates as “thus do all [women].”  It’s the story of Don Alfonso suggesting to Ferrando and Guglielmo that all women are willing to fool around on their financés.  The two men disagree with Don Alfonso and place a wager that their fiancés will remain true.  The two come back in disguise and try to woo the other’s fiancé.  

It’s a great comedy with the predictable ending where each falls in love with the others’ fiancé and eventually wed, only after calling Fiordiligi and Dorabella’s hand.  

Florida Grand Opera did a pretty good job with this with less experience talent than usual.  The direction was very well done and all the scenes flowed smoothly.  The conductor Tebar also palyed harpsichord as well as conducting.  

The image is from the FGO webpage.

© Fred Searcy 2017