ON SCREEN · EVENT CINEMA
The Metropolitan Opera (HD Broadcast):
Così Fan Tutte — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This winning production sets Mozart’s battle-of-the-sexes comedy at 1950s Coney Island.
A winning cast comes together for Phelim McDermott’s clever vision of Mozart’s comedy about the sexes, set in a carnival-esque environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island. Manipulating the action are the Don Alfonso of Christopher Maltman and the Despina of Tony Award–winner Kelli O’Hara, with Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss and Adam Plachetka as the pairs of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness. David Robertson conducts. 3h56m
The New York Times describes the inventive Coney Island setting in this glowing review:
How do you get an audience to believe that the two girlfriends—the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella—are fooled by their men’s disguises? For the director Phelim McDermott, that is one of the biggest challenges in making sense of “Così.” His colorful, inventive, sometimes riotous, sometimes surreal new production seeks to resolve this central conundrum in an elusive opera, which can seem both farcical and harsh, utterly absurd and devastatingly real.
Working with the set designer Tom Pye, Mr. McDermott zaps the story from 18th-century Naples to an amusement park in mid-20th-century Brooklyn, where, at least for a while, life becomes a carnival; where everyday codes of behavior don’t apply; and where you are continually confronted by strange figures, including sideshow performers.
The Met has hired a 12-member ensemble that includes sword swallowers, a strongman, a fire eater, a contortionist and a bearded lady to help make this setting seem a place where disbelief can be suspended. When these boyfriends appear in disguise, they look like classic greasers, with slicked-down hair, mustaches, leather jackets and jeans. You believe that their fiancées, in time, could see these strangers as the kind of guys one could let yourself go with.
Premiere: Vienna, Court Theater, 1790. The third and final collaboration between Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte is a fascinating paradox: a frothy comedy of manners with an intensely dark take on human nature; an old story (it has antecedents in Boccaccio, Shakespeare and Cervantes, among others) with a startlingly modern tone; and a beautiful score depicting questionable behavior. Così fan tutte was only moderately successful at its premiere and remained just outside the standard repertoire for more than a century. Così still poses unique challenges, and correspondingly unique rewards, for the public today. Every possible impression of love—from the loftiest to the basest—is explored in this extraordinary opera.
The Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live HD simulcasts returns for its 12th season with 10 operas, including five new productions and star-studded revivals. Hosted by Met opera stars, these singular events feature live interviews and remarkable behind-the-scenes access to one of the world’s great opera houses. Saturday’s show is a live broadcast from the Met Opera stage. Sunday’s encore is a recorded broadcast of Saturday’s performance.
Sunday: Loew Auditorium