The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte which takes place in New York on Saturday, April 26, will be screened live in cinemas around the world – the latest presentation in the Company’s Live in HD series.
Music Director James Levine leads a charismatic cast, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, in the first Live in HD performance of Mozart’s comic masterpiece – libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The production stars soprano Susanna Phillips and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella; tenor Matthew Polenzani and baritone Rodion Pogossov as their fiancés, Ferrando and Guglielmo; and soprano Danielle de Niese as their feisty maid Despina. Maurizio Muraro is the cynical Don Alfonso, and the screen performance is hosted by American soprano, Renée Fleming.
Set in Naples in the 18th century, the action in Così fan tutte – which translates loosely as ‘Women are like that’ – revolves around a plot by two young soldiers who disguise their identity in order to test the fidelity of their respective fiancées.
James Levine – Music Director since 1976 – has a long and unique history with the Metropolitan Opera, having led around 2500 performances of 85 different operas since his debut with a performance of Tosca in 1971. These productions include the first-ever Met performances of Mozart’s Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani, I Lombardi and Stiffelio, Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Moses und Aron, Berg’s Lulu, Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini – as well as the world premieres of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby.
Now leading the orchestra from a motorized wheelchair – following the paralysis which he suffered in 2011 – Maestro Levine has returned to the Met, his gradual recovery continuing with three performances of Così fan tutte, delighting the many who hardly dared hope to see him back on the podium.
This production of Così fan tutte – by American director, Lesley Koenig – has won high praise from The New York Times: “I don’t think I have ever heard a more vibrant, masterly and natural performance than this… glowing, crisp and buoyant account of Mozart’s…Così Fan Tutte. Lesley Koenig’s simple, sunny, and charmingly traditional production from 1996 [features a] winning cast [which] performed like a crack comedic theater troupe.”
Koenig has almost 20 years’ experience directing opera – in top houses and festivals around the world. She has directed more than 30 productions for the Metropolitan Opera and holds three shared Emmy Awards from the Met for Outstanding Classical Program in the Performing Arts.
For screening details of the Live in HD performance of the Metropolitan Opera’s Così fan tutte, follow this link for cinemas in the US, and this link for international screenings. Check local theaters for dates and times.