A couple of weeks ago Opera Australia celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a gala concert at the Opera House. Surprisingly the gala included no Mozart, indeed particularly surprising because the company was launched in 1956 with a courageous three opera all-Mozart program. This omission will be put to rights on July 19 when OA opens a new production of Cosi fan tutte, one of the three Mozart operas which launched the company in 1956. Cosi was an interesting inclusion for that time; after its premiere in 1790, it was scarcely performed in Mozart’s short remaining life and, thought to be too decadent, utterly neglected in the 19th century, not receiving regular performances until after WW2.
Cosi is an out & out masterpiece, one of three Mozart operas with libretti by Da Ponte, the others being Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. Involving two young couples thinking themselves in love and two older, worldly associates who test their love. Its ambiguous mix of deception, heart-break, loss and self-knowledge are played out in a world of elegance. It will be directed by Sir David McVicar, maker of beautiful, insightful productions; his designer is Moritz Junge; they have set the production just prior to 1914. The conductor is Jonathan Darlington who conducted Don Giovanni here in 2014. The cast will include three delightful sopranos: Nicole Car as Fiordiligi, Anna Dowsley as Dorabella and Taryn Fiebig as Despina; all causes for celebration.
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