Get Cosí at the Opera

Mozart’s work takes a 1950s twist in this version of Così fan tutte.

There couldn’t be a better way to celebrate spring than by attending Opera Colorado’s perfectly timed Così fan tutte — roughly translated, “women are like that” — an opera that shows Mozart at his most playful and lighthearted while retaining all the deep beauty of his melodies.

The story is about love and fidelity, also about mistaken identity, prolonged misunderstandings, lovers’ spats and heartfelt reconciliation. It concerns two young naval officers who are lured into betting on the fidelity of their sweethearts, a pair of innocent sisters. They test the young women by disguising themselves and each wooing the other’s beloved. There’s a wily, worldwise maid, naturally, and a plotting male friend. Director James Robinson has set the action in 1950s Italy and is aiming for a kind of innocence, “or at least the illusion of innocence.” He refers to the influence of Fellini films and even Roman Holiday, the romantic comedy that introduced Audrey Hepburn to America. Visually, the production is stylish, the costumes influenced by the 1950s, the set reflecting the elegant silhouettes of the eighteenth century. The cast is filled with talented young singers with stellar resumés; four of them, including South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo as Guglielmo, are making their Opera Colorado debuts. Gorgeous voices, the comfort and clear sound of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and some of Mozart’s happiest music: What more could it take to set your heart soaring?

Così fan tutte opens April 25 at 7:30 p.m. for the first of four performances at the Ellie, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; for information and tickets, $29 to $157, go to www.operacolorado.org or call 800-982-ARTS.
Sat., April 25, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., April 28, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., May 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 3, 2 p.m., 2009

 
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