For the ears
Wolfgand Amadeus Mozart: Così fan tutte
Jana Jennings (Fiodiligi)(Fiordiligi), Maria Zitchak (Dorabella), Mark Schowalter (Ferrando), John Hancock (Guglielmo) Mariateresa Magisano (Despina), Sten Condy (Don Alfonso)
Joel Revzen (conductor)
Ron Daniel (director)
Last weekend, the Arizona Opera presented Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Ron Daniels’ dull and unimaginative direction was further weakened by Riccardo Hernandez’cheap sets and flimsy costumes. If a low budget production is excusable with a small company like Arizona Opera, a lack of comprehension is not. For a scenographer to keep Così fan tutte at the buffa level does not do justice to this opera. Così goes far beyond simple buffoonery: this cruel - even stupid - joke played by a cynic (Don Alfonso) is a pessimistic statement on human feelings. Beyond the obvious disguise of characters, Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte, ferociously attack disguised feelings. Unfortunately, the deeper implications of this opera were missing in this production.
Fortunately, though, the musical rendition was of a much higher level. All six parts being of equal importance, Così is one of those operas that really call for a homogenous cast: if one singer stands out from the rest, the chemistry does not work and the opera falls apart. Even if Jane Jennings (Fiordiligi) seemed to have some problems with intervals in her “Come scoglio…”, all singers did justice to the score: Maria Zifchak (Dorabella), Mark Schowalter (Ferrando), John Hancock (Guglielmo), Mariateresa Magisano (Despina), and Steven Condy (Don Alfonso).
Moreover, Joel Revzen, the new musical director of Arizona Opera, did a superb job eliciting this brilliant and highly complex music. Especially admirable in the ensembles, Revzen delivered a riveting interpretation of Mozart’s music.
After a stunning Cenerentola last November, we are now looking forward to Menotti’s The Consul in April.
The Arizona Opera