Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Brunch – Cosi Fan Tutte: Ah Guarda Sorella

Stéphane Degout and Elina Garanca
This is a Cosi that we don’t hear as much about. Patrice Chéreau directed this for the 2005 Aix-en-Provence Festival, and most of the feedback was not very positive. I like the “this is a stage production” feel, though it was not one of those self-referential, “hey, we’re doing an opera” productions. And the personenregie is very strong.

Alan Riding of the New York Times called it "a disappointment" and said:
Chéreau's "Così Fan Tutte" is a far darker story than Mozart perhaps imagined when he described it as an opera buffa.
 On the other hand, Claus Spahn, a music journalist for Die Zeit wrote:
Chéreau…gives us nothing but an empty room, the characters, the music and the breath-taking virtuosity of a director converting sound and sensitivity into movement.
I want to share more of this production soon; but for now, here is the ever-lovely opening duet of Fiordiligi and Dorabella, sung beautifully by Erin Wall and Elina Garanca.


  1. Next to the first Glyndebourne Cosi the Chereau production is one that I tend to overlook but for different reasons. Glyndebourne I is (with the exception of the young Thomas Allen) provincial and the singing while not bad is best described as adequate. I liked the Cosi from Aix but then I admit I am predisposed to like Chereau productions. Like most DVD editions of this opera there are many cuts but the high level of singing is such that I would prefer it to John E. Gardiner's Chatelet production which borders on the slavish as regards setting decor and costumses. Harding's tempi are fast but excitingly so. Degout surely most be one of the best Gugliemos and Garanca's Dorabella is almost comparable to Ludwig's. I lament the cuts that this opera is subject to; all the cut music is present in the Zurich production and unlike the Zerlina-Leporello duet in DG and the two arias that used to be cut routinely in Figaro are not missed. I am glad that Rene Jacobs included the duet, but I tend to hit the fast forward button; ditto those two arias in the Figaro Act IV.

    Thanks again for reigniting my interest in this set.

    1. Thanks for your comments, David! I think Degout is a super Guglielmo in this and in the M22 Cosi. I also liked his Pelléas in the Theater an der Wien production. I am disappointed to miss Garanca as Sesto this weekend (darned Advent/Christmas rehearsals!!)


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