Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Flock of Fiordiligis– Malin Haretlius, Dorothea Röschmann, and Gundula Janowitz

Adriana Ferrarese del Bene
the First Fiordiligi
In her Act 1 aria, Come scoglioFiordiligi is adamant that none shall sway her from her beloved. Everyone else seems to be used to her overly dramatic behavior. In the first two clips below, her outburst is taken in stride by her sister, her lovers, Alfonso, and Despina.
This aria is considered to be a parody of Opera seria. Mozart is sending up the overly dramatic statements of that old form that he knew so well. Some productions of Cosi fan tutte play up the parody, pushing the action over the top.

In others, one senses that the soprano singing Fiordiligi is treating the emotion completely seriously–sometimes a funny situation is funnier if it's clear that the character is dead serious.  
Both Röschmann and Haretlius seem to be playing the aria seriously but with a bit of a wink, while Janowitz comes across as dead serious. What do you think? Which approach do you appreciate/enjoy most?
Malin Hartelius gets no respect. They are 
hardly even paying attention to her. I am sure
they wish she would give it up and just stop singing!
There just may be too much shtick here.

Dorothea Röschmann, the drama queen. 
(note much eye-rolling from Dorabella)

Gundula Janowitz: it's all fun and games 
till someone pulls out a gun!*

For further comparison, see Miah Persson's interpretation at Glyndebourne here. 

*This is from a 1970 film. The picture and sound are pretty crappy, and I think it's lip-synched, but I'd still love to see the whole thing!


  1. Isn't the Janowitz a film? In an interview she stated to J.B. Stean that too many things could go wrong in live performances. Well, I only saw Janowitz once, in Vienna, in Ariadne and I much prefer it to the film she made the same year--and nothing went wrong! Her live Eva is one of the best. The quality of the film is very poor; it's too bad there isn't a good quality one available. Roschmann is very much like a rock, nary a move. Hartelius is carrying on as her director wanted and yes there probably is too much action. Roschman's voice would seem to be somewhat larger than Hartelius' but only live performance hearing would really be the only way to make the judgement. I adore Persson and have the Glyndebourne performance (not the later one from Salzburg)and Hytner again is somehwat hyperactive throughout the entire performance. Preference? Impossible. My first
    Cosis were all with Schwarzkopf; she like Roschmann was "like a rock" with no extraneous directorial touches. She truly commanded the stage every time she opened her mouth. Hartelius sings beautifully and shouldn't have to deal with Bechtoff's directorial busyness.

  2. I'd agree that DR and Hartelius are doing it with almost a wink and Janowitz is much more straight-up.

    But ye gods, 1970s opera movies! It looks like Cosi fan tutte meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with turbans)

  3. My impression of Gundula Janowitz is a beautiful voice with a bland personality. I saw her Fidelio (w Bernstein) and I wondered what the fuss was about. She sings beautifully in the Karajan video of the Brahms Requiem, but looks like she had just gotten a botox injection.

    I think, however, that Christa Ludwig is the Dorabella in the Cosi in question, and I would love to see her! Even in a lip-synched, over-decorated film. (that set also reminds me of some of the Lawrence Welk set pieces.)


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