COSI FAN TUTTE in Firenze
COSI FAN TUTTE in Firenze
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Opera di Firenze, Italy, 2015 October 21st
Direttore and Maestro at cembalo, Roland Böer
Regia, Lorenzo Mariani
with Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Review by Fabio Bardelli
FIRENZE/ITALY: Few operas like Cosi fan tutte can endure setting changes and upheavals, regularly perpetrated by imaginative stage directors
. For these Florentine performances director Lorenzo Mariani moves the action to the 50s of the last century in a really questionable way.
While re-using (I was going to write recycling) of the fundamental scene of last Don Giovanni’s production in Florence staged by the same director Lorenzo Mariani can not be much stigmatized in a difficult time such as the one the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is currently living, I think that the problems of this production are basically others.
We must admit that this staging is really well made and careful, with a great attention to singers’ acting, costumes and ligh designing; but visually even excessively coloured costumes and furniture, showy vulgar and over the top for the thin-balanced Mozart’s music seems a really excessive intrusion. The orchestra pit transformed by lights into a pool (but why??) with half-naked people coming and going, superfluous ideas as a gay Don Alfonso (in first act also wearing tall heel shoes, in second act showing a more sober dandy look Gustav von Aschenbach-style) who at the end of the opera leaves with a young bodybuilder, or a nymphomaniac Despina who pays a gigolò, are only a small part of this disrespectful pretentious unnecessary and sometimes vulgar staging.
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The action takes place in a beauty-farm named Gymclub at a time around 50s, with all Mozart’s characters turned into fatuous people obsessed with fitness and gym, so we have massage beds, gym apparatus and punching ball on the scene. No trace of the subtle bitterness, sadness, cynicism and sublime ambiguity that characterize this opera, everything is shown in viewer’s face in an almost vulgar way.
If we add some backside touchs, the two “albanian noblemen” transformed into indian Marahja, light festoons Saint Patron’s day style that light up the House and unbearable visual symmetries you can better understand what we mean. I think that the unic scene really to remember is the Terzettino Soave sia il vento, with pairs of choir-singers and extra get naked slowly on Mozart’s rocking music.
Not much better is the conductor Roland Böer who shows woody and sharp pace, with a good orchestra playing a sound with cold instrumental refinements and few emotion.
The vocal cast is young and working very well together, even if vocally no singer stands resolutely on the others but nobody is below a certain level of absolute acceptability
. We must praise them all for quite perfectly adhering to director’s rather strange wills, on stage they all were as really good and crafty prose actors.
Carmela Remigio is Fiordiligi, a role of great difficulty and authentic vocal test for sopranos of every generation, showing the virtue and limits of her voice. Her vocal instrument is bright in central and upper register, has many difficulties in lower (also considering Mozart’s difficult wicked writing), hasn’t a great volume and a quite predictable phrasing.
Russian mezzo Anna Goryachova as Dorabella has a fascinating voice and a mottled vocal timbre, although few sustained in lower register, but sings with unquestionable taste and refinement.
Tenor Juan Francisco Gatell as Ferrando shows a bright good voice, always providing a sense of what is singing, is rather correct but overall a bit monotonous both as colors and as phrasing.
Baritone Simone Alberghini in the role of Guglielmo is rather undertone, but he copes with the usual class and with acting
Giulia Semenzato’s Despina shows a bright tart voice, and in agreement with the director stages a character of a very unrestrained (really too much) soubrette
Fairly anonymous Omar Montanari as Don Alfonso, monotonous in phrasing and not very convincing in this role, even if overall acceptable.
The Choir trained by Lorenzo Fratini was good, we have just mentioned the Orchestra, the large audience was very warm in applause with all the interpreters.
Direttore e Maestro al cembalo, Roland Böer
Regia, Lorenzo Mariani
Scene, Maurizio Balò
Costumi, Silvia Aymonino
Luci, Linus Fellbom
Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Maestro del Coro, Lorenzo Fratini
Fiordiligi, Carmela Remigio
Dorabella, Anna Goryachova
Ferrando, Juan Francisco Gatell
Guglielmo, Simone Alberghini
Don Alfonso, Omar Montanari
Despina, Giulia Semenzato