COSI FAN TUTTE by W.A. Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, directed by Daniel Dooner (Canadian Opera Company). At the Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen West). Runs to November 5. $20-$275. 416-363-8231. See Continuing, page 102. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
After producing the behemoth of operas the Ring Cycle the COC shows us that smaller isn't necessarily easier. This remount of its 1992 production of Mozart 's six-character comedy is intimate almost to a fault.
The new hall's brilliant acoustics can't help Richard Bradshaw 's initial sluggish conducting of the COC orchestra. Mozart's music should sparkle and convey as much wit as the clever libretto about two men who test their women by leaving them and returning in disguise to woo them again.
Several scenes seem under-rehearsed with the orchestra, which isn't the fault of the singers, one of whom, Lawrence J. Wiliford , replaced the ailing tenor on opening night with a few hours' notice. Russell Braun , Joni Henson and Shannon Mercer understand how to sing and play this kind of farcical comedy punctuated by some of Mozart's most sublimely beautiful melodies, and director Daniel Dooner shapes the scenes with care.
Jorge Jara 's sets dominated by a garden motif haven't fared well, though his use of a Mediterranean-blue frame succeeds in making the playing area smaller and more intimate.
And is it just me, but do those Turkish disguise costumes border on the offensive?