Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cosi Fan Tutte – Film by Jesusa Rodriguez, 1997 (Part 2: A Feminist Cosi)

Here are two more clips from this crazy Cosi! In the category of so bad it's good (or so bad it's bad?), this is a Mexican film of Cosi fan tutte made in the 1990s. The singing is not bad but not amazing and it's lip-synched, though I believe the actors are the the singers. It's kind of regie, with a modern, Mexican vacation resort version of Naples, and a commentary on women's attitudes towards men. It also has the feel of low-budget soft-porn movie (or what I imagine that would be likethat isfrom what I've heard. ahem.)

In this clip, the boys show up in disguise and are thoroughly rejected (and defeated! Down for the count) by the sisters. (It's interesting to see what Despina thinks Alfonso expects from her when he hands her cash.)

I like the way the opera is resolved, with Fiordiligi making the decision on the final resolution. She realizes that these men will continue to be nothing but trouble if they let them stick around. In fact, it doesn't seem to matter what happens to the men. Once Fiordiligi makes the final switch, we don't see them again. 

The singers are Stefano de Peppo, Susana Zabaleta, Ricardo Bernal, Armando Mora, Regina Orozco, and Yvonne Garza, and the film was directed by Jesusa Rodriguez in  Mexico, 1995. This film was available on VHS, but seems to be unavailable at this time. Now I have a reason to get back on eBay!!

By the way I found a (really low-quality) video of Donna Giovanni. Verrry Interesting!

Read Part 1


  1. I don't think this is a Cosi that I would listen to more than once--that is assuming I could listen to it in its entirety. My main objection is the lip synching; even if is done well--and it has on occasion--this performance would not make my short list. I might consider the Austrian film set simply because of the singers though not the production. And surely a telenovela is a genre that only a latino, hispanic, stc., can enjoy although ABC can offer a challenge to Americans (Revenge, for example).

    I adore Cosi and find that it is really the most serious of the three da Ponte librettos even though it is cloaked in buffa trimmings.
    Even though the Barneboim producion borders on the edge I think it ultimately avoids total silliness because underlying all is a seriousness that no production should avoid.

    1. Well, I agree that this film is not like to be on anyone's short list of opera performances. The appeal for me is the director's approach as a feminist/activist/artist and her message (which obviously will be easier to figure out when viewing the entire film).

      And of course a film of (or based on) an opera is a whole different species from a filmed opera performance. That's a whole subject of debate from here to eternity.

      However, I don't think you have to be Latino to enjoy/appreciate a televnovela any more than you need to be Italian to enjoy Verdi, Roman Catholic to enjoy Gregorian chant, gay to enjoy La Cage aux Folles, or Polish to like polkas.


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