Director Claus Guth’s production of Mozart’s Da Ponte trilogy for the Salzburg Festival reaches its sensational conclusion with his elegant, stylish production of Così fan tutte from the “Haus für Mozart”. Guth bolsters the unity of the cycle by making ingenious reference to his stagings of the first two works, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.
His widely acclaimed production of the trilogy consolidates Guth’s international reputation as one of the most sought-afterstage directors of our time. Among his other major successes are Der fliegende Holländer in Bayreuth and Luisa Miller at the Bavarian State Opera.
Guth assembles a superb ensemble of young singers who toy with love and trust under the cynical gaze of ringmaster Bo Skovhus’ Don Alfonso and his foxy, temperamental sidekick Despina, played by fiery young soprano Patricia Petibon. Baritone Florian Boesch and tenor Topi Lehtipuu ideally complement their frisky partners Miah Persson and Isabel Leonard.
Conductor Adam Fischer keeps the tempi brisk and the Wiener Philharmoniker on their toes in his layered reading of the score.
“superbly cast, with not a weak link. Bo Skovhus, as a central Mephistophelian operator de nos jours, plays a savage dance-driven double-act with Patricia Petibon's red-haired biker of a Despina...Within a single, minimalist duplex apartment interior, illusion and disillusion constantly shift.”
“Guth has drawn marvellously natural acting from this cast (the hammy Despina excepted)...this opera's sisters have never been more gorgeous to behold...The ultra-suave Skovhus's Don Alfonso is a very cool customer indeed, full of cynicism and self-satisfaction...Playing with extreme beauty and technical mastery but not without incisiveness, the Vienna Philharmonic responds aptly to every dramatic nuance.”
“Guth is deft at choreographing the pain and the embarrassment of "wrong" couples getting together...this is already a mighty contribution to the otherwise rather naturalistic Così filmography. Its musical performances are solid...its acting ones much more than that.”
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