What do you get when you combine a brilliant and witty libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte and some of W.A. Mozart's most melodious and shimmering music? The opera Così fan tutte.
Subtitled La scuola degli amanti (The School for Lovers), it contains all we have grown to love of the Mozart/da Ponte collaboration—they also produced Le nozze de Figaro and Don Giovanni: true love, lost love, clandestine love, temptation, defiance, reconciliation...all wrapped up in soaring melodies and sharp buffoonery.
The opera premiered in Vienna in 1790 and has endured as a classic opera buffa in the best Italian tradition. Mozart's genius shines in every aria but his brilliance at musical characterization blossoms in the ensemble pieces. Thus Do All Women, as the title is translated, takes us on a rollercoaster ride of fiancée swapping through madcap disguises, all orchestrated by the wily old philosopher, Don Alfonso, and even more so by the practical and pragmatic chambermaid, Despina.
Mozart composed some of his most memorable operatic music: Fiordiligi's "Come scoglio immoto resta", Ferrando's "Un'aura amorosa" and one of most sublime of Mozart's vocal works, the trio "Soave sia il vento". And let's not forget the overture which vibrates with the composer's mastery of melodic layering.
Set in the flapper era, Opera da Camera's production is a fun romp through this eternal classic.
Fiordiligi - Carol Leger, soprano
Dorabella - Kathrin Welte, mezzo-soprano
Ferrando - David Menzies, tenor
Guglielmo - Laurent Deleuil, baritone
Don Alfonso - Emanuel Lebel, baritone
Despina (a) - Valérie Bélanger, soprano
Despina (b) - Meagan Zantingh, mezzo-soprano
Despina (February 13 et 18) - Valérie Bélanger
Despina (February 14 et 20) - Meagan Zantingh
Amy Grainger, soprano
Marie-Hélène Riou, soprano
Hali Kremen, soprano
Geneviève Gates-Panneton, alto
Valerie Moscato, alto
Eva Stone-Barney, alto
Olivier Delaire, tenor
Louise Campbell, clarinet
Bradley Powell, clarinet
Glaubert Nuske, bassoon
Victoria McNeill, horn
Benjamin Kwong, piano
$49/$34/$25 and $15 (for children under 12 years)
7:30pm - February 13, 18 and 20
2:30pm - February 14
Valérie Bélanger sings February 13 and 18
Meagan Zantingh sings February 14 and 20
Ciné-Théâtre Le Château
6956, rue Saint-Denis
Montréal (Québec) H2S 2S4
7:00pm - February 20
For a second time, Opera da Camera is lucky enough to have Marie-Pierre Poulin, librarian at the Montreal Goethe-Institute, opera-lover, blogger, globe-trotter, foodie and feminist, to give a pre-opera conference titled “Is it possible to see Cosi fan tutte as a feminist work?“. It will without a doubt be a fascinating conference not to be missed!