Taliesin Live - Swansea City Opera: Cosi fan tutte
COSI FAN TUTTE
“Utterly glorious” South Wales Evening Post
Swansea City Opera make a welcome return with a production of Mozart’s popular and uproarious comic opera, Così fan tutte. SCO are known for their sparkling performances of comic opera and their Così will be no exception.
Beautifully staged in English with elegant classical 19th century costumes, and performed by some of the finest singers and orchestral players in the country, Così fan tutte contains some of Mozart’s most ravishing music and makes for an enchanting and hilarious evening’s entertainment - a feast for the eyes and ears.
Supposedly based on a true story, this comic tale of deception, doubt, devotion and the twists and turns of romantic love, sees how a cynical old man (Don Alfonso) leads two naïve officers into a scandalous wager, in order to prove that it is against a woman’s nature to be faithful – ‘Così fan tutte’ – ‘all women are alike’. As the story unfolds we see just how well he succeeds; at first the women are not willing, but later… well you must wait and see!
There will be a pre-performance talk about the opera and production at 6.15pm, given by the Artistic Director of Swansea City Opera, Brendan Wheatley.
What the papers said about our last tour of The Barber of Seville:
“Comic opera was superb! A cast of superb vocalists…… If all operas were as well delivered as this one was, I'd invest in a pair of opera glasses today!” Swansea Evening Post
“An absolute delight! What a treat to hear well trained voices effortlessly filling the Queen's Theatre, even when singing pianissimo…The result was a theatre filled with laughter….Could Rossini have asked for more?” South Devon Journal
Running time: 3hrs inc. interval
Friday 22 March 7.30pm
Prices and Times:
Fri 22nd Mar
|Full price:||£ 20|
|Under 18's:||£ 18|
|Full time students:||£ 18|
|Other Conc.:||£ 18|
Review (from 2012 tour)
Swansea City Opera has a well-deserved reputation for bringing musical theatre to the masses – and this staging of Mozart’s comic masterpiece, Cosi Fan Tutte, certainly carries enormous popular appeal.
Not the least of its attractions is that it is sung in English, in a sparkling translation that does full justice to the nuances and cadences of Lorenzo da Ponte’s original libretto……Swansea City Opera are to be congratulated for every aspect of this comic tour de force.
Then, there’s the clever transposition of the story to India and the days of the British Raj, bringing colour, a touch of the mystical and – in a practical sense – making the disguises a good deal more plausible.
All of this would, however, be as nothing without the superb cast – six fine performers, who frequently touch the sublime in putting over what is essentially a farce, if stripped down to the bare bones of plot. Andrew Mayor, recently outstanding in this company’s The Pearl Fishers, relishes the mischievous role of Don Alfonso, the hookah-smoking bachelor, harbouring an ill-disguised streak of comic misogynism. Though his plan to test the virtue of two ladies seems bizarre and rather unwholesome to the modern audience, it is straight out of the stock cupboard of eighteenth-century buffo escapades.
Certainly his wager with Ferrando and Guglielmo that they will witness the infidelity of their respective beloveds, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, if they obey his commands, seems fraught with dangerous complications. But then this is opera and all is fair that concerns the eternal struggle between the sexes.
Laura Meloy, of the lovely soprano, is a stately Fiordiligi, slower to succumb than her more frivolous sister, Dorabella, sung beautifully by mezzo, Gillian McIwraith. Iranian bass, Aris Nadirian, gives his usual flawless performance, in the role of the more boastful suitor, Guglielmo; while what Arthur Swan lacks in animation, as Ferrando, he more than makes up for in the nobility of his lyric tenor .
As is often the case in this opera, the maid Despina – a superb comic turn, portrayed by Alison Charlton-West, in the time-honoured fashion of the servant being more savvy than the master – just about steals the show.
The orchestra, under the baton of Fraser Goulding, accompanied the recitative with great sensitivity, no easy task when parlando humour is everywhere and everything. Swansea City Opera are to be congratulated for every aspect of this comic tour de force.
Andrew Liddle The Public Reviews
Photography by Guy Harrop – http://www.guyharrop.com/