SAN FRANCISCO, September 13, 2017 – Opera San Jose successfully kicked off their fall opening weekend with a fabulous performance of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte at the always impressive, California Theatre. With every opera showcased, the talented Opera San Jose resident ensemble continually outdoes itself.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Cosi Fan Tutti storyline, it one of the more light-hearted operas. If you’ve had your fill of tragedy reaping tragedy, then this classic opera is for you. Mozart liked to play with his audience certainly.
His very clever Cosi Fan Tutte is packed with passion, playfulness, cockiness, and the arrogance of youth along side the wisdom that can only come with age. The subject matter of Cosi and manner of delivery would be considered “racy” by 18th Century standards. This is human nature at its very best and worst.
Two young friends, Ferrando and Guglielmo are feverishly in love and engaged to sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella. The sisters are equally mad about their handsome beaus. Ferrando and Guglielmo‘s good friend Don decides to give his young friends an important lesson in love by crafting a scheme to test the sisters’ commitment to his eager friends.
Ferrando and Guglielmo are overjoyed by the idea of the charade and ooze with confidence in their devoted fiancés. The most intriguing and hilarious character in this opera is Despina, the sisters’ chambermaid.
Her personal sexual exploits coupled with her mischievous advice sets the mood early in Cosi.
All four leads on opening night were very strong. Tenor David Blalock as Ferrando, bass-baritone Colin Ramsey as Guglielmo, soprano Amanda Kingston as Fiordiligi, and mezzo-soprano Cassandra Zoe Velasco as Dorabella.
Baritone Malcolm MacKenzie plays Don Alfonso with the grit and swagger demanded by this role.
The star performance of the night clearly belonged to Soprano Maria Valdes in her entertaining role as Despina. Valdes is the heartbeat of Cosi, from her opening scene to her last note carried.
One cannot have opera without the incredible symphony, conductor, set design, costumes, makeup and lighting. Hats off to conductor Peter Grunberg and director Brad Dalton. Cosi Fan Tutti is sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Only four performances remain, Thursday, September 14th through Sunday, September 24th. Find information and tickets at the Opera San Jose website. Tickets range from $55 – $175.
Opera San Jose’s season continues with La Rondine, The Flying Dutchman and La Traviata. See their website for details.