Friday, 11 June 2010





















Although not an intellectual, I have intellectual pursuits. Glyndebourne does it for me: a beautiful country house in Sussex, opera at the end of the day, with a delicious dinner in the middle of the performance to keep us all going. Of course I like grand opera, but this has the attraction of being truly British. Tickets are like gold dust and virtually impossible to get hold of unless you are in the know.
Cosi Fan Tutte was written in 1790 (followed by The Magic Flute). Mozart collaborated several times with the poet Da Ponte then, this time writing a libretto based on Shakespeare's Cymbeline, a nonsense story to test a woman's fidelity in time of war. (One should bear in mind that the French Revolution was in 1789, that Europe loved war, uniforms and that these sort of comedies were in fashion.) Personally I am not crazy about Cosi's storyline but with brilliant singing you can happily overlook the shortcomings of the narrative. The director was Nicholas Hytner, who is nowadays massively important with so many successes under his belt including the film of The History Boys, and as usual he managed to bring out the empathy and depth of this opera. The ever-popular Sally Matthews sang with passion.

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