My friend D was kind enough to treat me to a night out at the opera! I was so excited its not even funny.
Anyway, Cosi Fan Tutte is considered to be Mozart’s best opera. I had already watched Don Giovani in London (twice!) so I had quite high hopes for the evening.
I’ll be honest, I liked Don Giovanni better. It was a very dramatic opera with fire and hell and deaths.
Cosi Fan Tutte, on the other hand, was quite different. For one thing, no one dies. Its basically about 2 soldiers who bet an old friend that their newly acquired fiances are faithful beings. So their friend hatches (a rather cheeky) plot to prove that they are wrong. So the two men pretend to go to war. Their poor fiances cry and wail about how their world is going to end because it seems that the women equate war with death. So after the two boys ‘go off to war’ and the women sit around mourning, the two boys return disguised as 2 Algerian men to woo these two girls. Their maid, Despina is roped in to help them. Long story short, the ‘2 Algerians’ seduce the two girls.
Its meant to be a farce, I’m sure of it. But I think many productions have had quite a number of issues interpreting and staging this production. The Singapore Lyric Opera House chose to set Cosi Fan Tutte in colonial times, probably somewhere along the Straits settlements. Quite clever, I thought. The singing was good, and so was the orchestra but I think the orchestra sometimes was a little too enthusiastic and drowned out the singing. The acting was also very restrained and it wasn’t until the second act when I think the singers realized that everyone was in on the joke that they began to ham it up.
Anyway, all in all it was a great night! I hope we get an opportunity to go to the opera again soon!!