Cosi Fan Tutte

Mozart with darker interpretation.

When the programme notes accompanying a Festival high-end production run to 12 pages, I wonder if it takes away some of the magic of the unfolding performance?

The Edinburgh Festival Theatre was the venue for the opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, the work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 91) with a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. In advance, the public had been made aware of the graphic and sometimes brutal nature of this version of the tale of love, deception and intrigue. Personally I found some of the performance contained nugatory scenes of quasi violence and were excessive.

On a more positive note, the large cast of principals, singers, actors and chorus as well as musicians were, as one would expect, highly professional. Indeed, the more enjoyable lighter music from Andante (slow) to Allegro (fast) were deliberate and offset the more bleak parts, providing almost a musical irony.

The underlying tale of love and betrayal is, of course, one of the enduring themes of opera and this one is no exception. In the second half comedy gets an airing, which lightens the mood. There is no moralizing overtly and, somehow, the contradictory elements in this tale of triumph and disaster, worked well enough.

The length of the programme – three and a half hours – was a challenge to many of the audience, in particular older people with disabilities although we all knew in advance the length of the programme and there was an interval, which I think  helped the artistes too.

However, the music was first class and Director, Christopher Honore could take pride in bringing together this large cast of singers, musicians, actors, chorus and soloists who brought together the relatively simple story of love, deceit and, eventually ‘Happy Ever After’ for the main characters – the two couples reunited. Similarly the music conductor of the Freiburger Barockorchester, Jeremie Rhoter did an excellent job.

In summary, I was glad to have seen this production and the opinions expressed in the article are personal ones, whether critical or complimentary.

The programme was funded by the Edinburgh International Festival Opera Development Fund.


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Christine Richard OBE FRSA Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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