Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Cosi Fan Tutte - Lowry Theatre, Salford

Cosi fan Tutte
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Justin Doyle
Director: Tim Albery
Reviewer: Lorna Andrewes

Cosi fan Tutte is the presentation of a complex and compelling moral tale. Don Alfonso, sung by Geoffrey Dolton,wagers with two young friends, Ferrando - Alan Clayton, and Gugliemo - Quirjin de Lang, that even their devoted lovers can be easily persuaded to betray them.In his plan, Don Alfonso is assisted by the girls' maid, Despina - Amy Freston.

Fiordiligi - Elizabeth Atherton, and Dorabella - Victoria Simmonds, ultimately fall, to the delight of Don Alfonso and the despair of the lovers. This is essentially more an opera for ensemble work than for individual stars, The narrative was performed with great pace and energy by this superb group of singers.

The intensity of the action is concentrated by being enclosed by the classical vistas of time and space. There is no outside world, no mediation from a higher authority or extraneous event. Everything comes from within the thoughts and feelings of the six characters.

The ensemble nature of the work is well served by this well-matched group of singers. The austere elegance of Tobias Hoheisel's set - a box within the stage -is enhancing and effective. The emotional centre of the work is the beginning of Act 2, when the moral argument becomes moral anguish, expressed with touching eloquence and pathos by Elizabeth Atherton as Fiordiligi and Alan Clayton as Ferrando.

The clarity of the libretto (translator, alas, not acknowledged in the programme), was beautifully articulated. No bit parts, nothing incidental or diverting. Nicely emphasised in the programme diagram, the relationships, symetrical and diamondlike, just as this production is both visually and musically brilliant and sparkling.

Photos: Tristram Kenton
Cosi Fan Tutte is on tour for more info click here
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