[Met Performance] CID:279180
Cosė Fan Tutte {102} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/10/1985.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 10, 1985


COSĖ FAN TUTTE {102}

Fiordiligi..............Carol Vaness
Ferrando................Philip Langridge
Dorabella...............Gail Dubinbaum
Guglielmo...............Brian Schexnayder
Despina.................Julia Hamari [Last performance]
Don Alfonso.............Cornell MacNeil

Conductor...............Jeffrey Tate

Review of Patrick J. Smith in Opera (UK)

"Cosi fan tutte" is one of the best arguments in favour of James Levine's plea for a second, smaller house, for the charming sets of Hayden Griffin and the vocal artistry on display on January 10 would have benefited from more intimate surroundings. Jeffrey Tate conducted with a lithe quickness, emphasizing enunciation, ensemble and cleanness of execution. This enlivened the action, though with time Tate may wish to linger longer and shape some of the music more expressively. The cast was well matched, playing the broad-brushed production of Graziella Sciutti (essentially that of Colin Graham's original, except that the lovers return to their first partners in the finale rather than staying with their second-act ones), which neither offends nor greatly illumines.

Carol Vaness's Fiordiligi was excellently sung, rising to great heights in her capitulation scene, though I find her at times cold and distant, partly because she does not enunciate well. Philip Langridge as Ferrando was a strong stage presence, while Brian Schexnayder (Guglielmo) revealed a light lyric baritone of pleasing quality. Gail Dubinbaum's Dorabella was pallidly sung (and in Act 1 hovered away from the pitch); Julia Hamari's Despina gave the best view of the standard performance. I was impressed by Cornell MacNeil's Alfonso, because I had not expected him to be such an accomplished Mozartean. The voice is, to be true, now dry, but his handling of the important recitatives was assured and the size of his voice gives a weight and presence to Mozart that justify "Cosi"'s being done in an auditorium seating 3800.



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