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Mozart – Cosi fan tutte


Ferrando – Matthew Polenzani

Gugliemo – Lorenzo Regazzo

Don Alfonso – Sir Thomas Allen (pictured)

Fiordiligi – Dorothea Roschmann

Dorabella – Elina Garanca

Despina – Rebecca Evans


Conductor – Sir Colin Davis

Director - Jonathan Miller


Royal Opera House – 22 July 2007



Whilst the costume design (by Armani when the production was first seen in 1995) remained anonymous, no less than six names were credited in the programme (Jonathan Miller with Tim Blazdell, Andrew Jameson, Colin Maxwell, Catherine Smith and Anthony Waterman) with the design of the single, exceptionally plain set.


They had been at pains to furnish it with every keynote accessory of 21st century life – mobile camera phones, notebook PC, disposable mugs of coffee from Starbucks ……in Naples ??? Well, suffice to say that this is not my favourite production of Cosi , but whatever reservations I may have held on that count were completely swept away by a cast that were nothing short of magnificent.


Thomas Allen's Don Alfonso is a seasoned portrayal. His seems ever present, and with practiced glance or gesture he in turn encourages or goads his victims, above all he is constantly resourceful in turning every situation to his advantage.


The remainder of the cast were all making their role debuts with the company.


Dorothea Roschmann, one of the most sought after Mozart sopranos around, gave a determinedly serious portrayal of the principled Fiordiligi, met every vocal challenge with confidence whilst she skilfully portrayed the determinedly serious and high principled Fiordiligi. Elina Garanka, a little brasher in tone, was utterly convincing as the more flighty of the two sisters.


Matthew Polenzani displayed an impressively secure tenor, turning out Ferrando's love song Un' aura amorosa with real beauty of expression – and from a supine position reclining on a bed of cushions.


Lorenzo Regazzo has a fairly dark baritone, and he was able to turn up the power effectively to reflect Gugliemo's moments of sarcastic anger.


Rebecca Evans sounded particularly sweet voiced as the hard worked Despina, playing down the silly intonation of the medico and notary.


Overall, their voices blended perfectly, their acting was first class, and the whole performance became a splendid piece of team work. At the curtain calls the cast looked as satisfied as their audience.


Colin Davis conducted with careful restraint, holding the orchestra to a firmly subsidiary role.


Serena Fenwick



Photo credit Johan Persson