All Women Are The Same, According To Mozart!
If there’s one thing to note about Mozart’s opera, Cosi Fan Tutte is that the fact it even plays in this day and age is really quite interesting.
Why? The simplification of women, predominantly. Sure, the story of two soldiers sent off to battle who’re convinced to place their bets against their lovers that they’d remain chaste whilst away didn’t offend the sensibilities of the time in the Vienna of 1790, but good thing it’s a classic to override the vulgarity of it in the modern day.
Underneath the hilarious simplification of human relationships of the libretto and the charming simpleton-like quandries of the two female protagonists, the likability of all the characters and the farfetched nature of them and their interactions, Cosi Fan Tutte is actually 100% infatuating.
If the stage design and construction of the set by Moritz Junge aren’t enough to immediately earn the performance a soft spot in your heart, then the winning aria of the opera, Soave sia il vento (May the winds be gentle), which is paralysingly performed in a trio will finish you off. Listen below.
It’s a truly beautiful piece of music that, when performed by Don Alfonso (Richard Anderson), Fiordiligi (Nicole Car) and Dorabella (Anna Dowsley) is an emotional ride of heartfelt pining and lustful woe. It highlights the relationships between the characters and the steadfast way in which the two girlfriends of the ‘befallen’ soldiers will remain their blindly faithful, aristocratic selves.
The only character who punctuates the incessant to-and-fro-ing of Fiordiligi, Dorabella and their two soldier boyfriends – who return in Romanian disguise to throw off the scent and have some fun with the other man’s partner – is their maid, Dorabella. Played expertly by Anna Dowsley, her genuinely laugh-out-loud-worthy character is as promiscuous as the history books would have us believe and as lucid in her reality checks throughout the emotional and spiritual turmoil of the simple female characters.
Despite the simplification of Dorabella and Fiordigili and the cruel, taunting playing with them by their boyfriends that can easily be interpreted by some as a chauvinistic narrative, Cosi Fan Tutte is a more than enjoyable delve into the creative mind of Mozart and the enjoyable modern day interpretation of the creativity of the story.
Così Fan Tutte by Opera Australia is on at the Sydney Opera House until 13 August 2016. Buy tickets here.
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