The Jacobs School of Music opens their 2011-2012 opera season with Mozart's comedy Cosi fan tutte conducted by Arthur Fagen. At the heart of the opera is a teenaged prank with a couple of young guys testing their girls friends fidelity. It's a comedy, but one that can that teeter on the edge of something a bit deeper.
Accessible Setting, Yet Faithful Intent
Designer David Higgins has promised a Cosi fan tu… that will be a little bit different. We intend to mount a production that is accessible to a modern audience and yet faithful to the intent and feeling, the mood of the original. We have brought it forward in time about a hundred years to the turn of the century. So the environment is belle époque. And we have moved it from Naples, Italy to a luxury hotel in Florida.
Modern Technology Serving Vintage Setting
The design has a unit set with two turntables that rotate scenic information into the environment and a back wall that opens up onto the sea. Hopefully we'll be able to move from scene to scene quite quickly and seamlessly, and change the environments quite radically while we always have the sense of fin du siècle. It will be a slightly different take on Cosi… without damaging the intent of the opera.
Keaton, Chaplin And Lorenzo Da Ponte
Stage director Tomer Zvulun describes Cosi fan tutte as, "going like a great Buster Keaton or Chaplin movie, from great comedy into moments of great seriousness and depth. It's a little bit like Mozart himself, a complicated mix. If you read Mozart's letters and biography you get a sense of this variety. In one letter to his sister he could give the most profound touching description of his loneliness or the way an instrument moves him to tears and in the next phrase make a lavatory joke about bodily fluids."
A Smile And A Tear
" And I think that Mozart and his wonderful librettist Da Ponte understood that in order to touch the audience it's always good to make them laugh a bit first to have one eye with a smile and one with a tear. "