Così fan tutte

 

Mozart Così fan tutte opera and dance program to libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. Directed 2017 by choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker at the Opéra national de Paris! Singing stars are Jacquelyn Wagner (Fiordiligi), Michèle Losier (Dorabella), Frédéric Antoun (Ferrando), Philippe Sly (Guglielmo), Paulo Szot (Don Alfonso), and Ginger Costa-Jackson (Despina). The corresponding dancing stars are Cynthia Loemij (Fiordiligi), Samantha Van Wissen (Dorabella), Julien Monty (Ferrando), Michaël Pomero (Guglielmo), Boštjan Antončič (Don Alfonso), and Marie Goudot (Despina), all supported by other dancers of de Keersmaeker's Rosas dance company.  Philippe Jordan conducts the Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Alessandro di Stefano). Set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld; costume design by An D'Huys; choreography by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker; dramaturgy by Jan Vandenhouwe. Directed for video by Louise Narboni. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Here we have a piece with opera singers and dancers paired up to present a combination opera and dance production in the vein of the Pina Bausch Orpheus und Eurydike. Except that Così fan tutte is a vastly more elaborate work than the Christoph W. Gluck Orpheus. This concoction lasts about 3 hours, which suggests de Keersmaeker is trying to keep as much of the text as she can while weaving her dancers into the libretto. What a challenge for all concerned!

The challenge extends to the viewer in the HT, as is explained by Mark Pullinger in his review of this at pages 99-100 in the November 2017 Gramophone. The text and music have to remain (more or less) the same as laid down by Da Ponte and Mozart. Pullinger believes that de Keersmaeker choreographed the dancers to act as extentions of the singers who manage to show what the singers are really feeling and thinking as plot unfolds. Pullinger final report: "this is a most unusual Così which eventually had me hooked."