19 October 2016 at 10.53am | Comment on this article
‘Suddenly you realize how much deeper Mozart goes in proving who we are,’ says Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s third and final collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte.
Jan Philipp Gloger’s new production was broadcast live cinemas across the world on 17 October 2016. In two films, shown before the performance and during the interval, the cast and creative teams discuss the complex (yet comedic) plot, which follows four young lovers on a journey through their emotions.
‘The opera deals with two young men making a bet with their friend that their women would never be unfaithful,’ reveals German director Gloger.
The two men, Guglielmo and Ferrando, performed by Italian baritone Alessio Arduini and German tenor Daniel Behle, soon discover that the art of romance is more complex than they first thought when they are introduced to each other’s lovers, Fiordiligi performed by American soprano Corinne Winters and Dorabella, sung by American mezzo-soprano Angela Brower.
‘He thinks he loves Fiordiligi,’ reveals Arduini, ‘but then when he sees Dorabella, he thinks, "Okay, maybe I can also love Dorabella, why not!"’
Gloger sets his new production in a theatre, adding to the opera’s exploration of performance and pretense in love.
‘If you have to perform an opera about truths and false, you have to clearly mark when they are lying and when are they true,’ he notes of the modern staging.
The cast explain how underneath the playfulness and humour, Mozart and Da Ponte created a work that powerfully expresses both the calamity and elation that comes with discovering love.
‘You’ll never stop finding things’, smiles American soprano Winters. ‘It’s brilliant!’
Bychkov says it is the richness of Mozart’s music that grounds the opera. ‘The music is so incredibly expressive that somehow you feel what they are going through. That is the genius of Mozart.’
In this second film, set designer Ben Baur reveals how he created the theatre staging for the opera – by using props from past productions found at the Royal Opera House. Bauer even designed a replica of The Crush Room – the space that sits directly behind the auditorium, enlisting The Props Department to mirror exact details, such as the lighting fixtures, paintings and skirting boards.
Baur, who studied at Berlin School of Art and Design, describes how he brought Gloger’s understanding of love into the fabric of his staging:
‘He wanted different images, lots of pictures of love, about love, with love, because Jan Phillip strongly feels love is not just a matter of something that comes from you as a person, but also a matter of your surroundings and situation,’ Baur explains.
The set presents a series of surprises, mirroring the twists and turns in the opera’s narrative, including a replica of a theatre’s dressing rooms that comes up through the stage as it has been lifted out from the basement.
Così fan tutte runs until 19 October 2016. Tickets are still available.
The production was broadcast to cinemas around the world on 17 October 2016. If you missed it, find your nearest encore cinema screenings here.