Opera Scotland

Cosi fan tutte 2018Clyde Opera Group

Read more about the opera Così fan tutte

In what has now become a welcome annual arrangement, Clyde Opera gave two performances of their chosen opera, with different casts. The concept allows fully trained singers embarking on a professional career to study together for ten days and give a public performance in key roles. This year Mozart’s problematic masterpiece Così fan tutte was given in Renfield St Stephen’s. As before, the overall guiding hands belonged to Artistic Director Roxana Nite and her dedicated team.

The work was sung in Italian, and the director, Hannah Brown, set the piece in Hollywood in 1958. The sisters are in the process of filming a new comedy of manners, with Don Alfonso as a studio executive. The veteran director Jonathan Miller has argued that one has to be very careful about updating any opera. He made an exception for Così fan tutte, which he sees as such a fantasy that it could be located anywhere. Certainly this particular setting worked well, given the overtones of sexual mischief relating to Hollywood. It also gave credible scope for the hard-working stage management team to move appropriate props on and off set.

In a concession to recent fashion and a tight budget, there was no chorus. The performers all moved naturally through the action, the crisp ensemble evidencing all the hard work put in over the intensive rehearsals. Così is the ultimate ensemble opera, moving rapidly between cruelty and comedy.

At the second performance on Sunday, Angharad Shanaban as Fiordiligi and Stephanie Goodwin as her sister Dorabella had powerful stage presences and strong voices. Sarah Bodle took the role of Despina, Hugh Benson was Ferrando and Patrick Relph Guglielmo. with Eric Peterson as Don Alfonso. The tricky recitatives were well delivered. The audience, though not a capacity one, was sizeable and appreciative, reacting well to some of the comic touches, including imaginative business with a door. The English surtitles, however, were a disappointment, often being hard to read.

Saturday’s performance included Katherina Gebauer as Fiordiligi, Guler Ozgencil as Dorabella and Kelli-Ann Masterson as Despina, and sold out.

Conductor Razvan Luculescu conducted ably, taking the talented band through this endlessly fascinating score.

It was a pleasure to liten to this young cast, despite the occasional rough edges. 

Performance Cast

Ferrando a young army officer

Hugh Benson

Guglielmo another officer, Ferrando's friend

Patrick Relph

Don Alfonso a middle-aged bachelor

Eric Peterson

Fiordiligi a young lady from Ferrara, engaged to Guglielmo

Katherina Gebauer (Jul 28)

Angharad Shanaban (Jul 29)

Dorabella Fiordiligi's sister, engaged to Ferrando

Guler Ozgencil (Jul 28)

Stephanie Goodwin (Jul 29)

Despina maidservant to the sisters

Kelli-Ann Masterson (Jul 28)

Sarah Bodle (Jul 29)

Performance DatesCosi fan tutte 2018

Map List

The Spire, St Andrews West Church | Glasgow

28 Jul, 19.30 29 Jul, 19.30

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