SCO's Cosi fan tutte, Usher Hall, Review
Robin Ticciati (the Principal Conductor of the SCO) is an aficionado of Mozart and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra started their new season with a marvelous rendition of Mozart’s opera Cosi fan tutti.
Although Ticciati has never received formal training in conducting he nevertheless at the age of twenty-eight is rapidly developing a reputation as one of the top conductors on the classical music and opera scene.
The music has sublime passages and although it was well received by the Viennese audience when it was first performed in 1790 the libretto, which was written by Lorenzo da Ponte, received much criticism in the 18th and 19th century for its risqué plot which allegedly set out to prove the fickleness of women when it comes to matters of the heart. However, by the end of the second world war Cosi fan tutti – a loose translation of which means Women are like that’ - became firmly established as one of the most popular operas to be performed.
It is a risky choice to perform a familiar opera on a concert hall platform, with no stage directions, designs or costumes, and the performance could have resulted in a static one, but with Ticciati’s enthusiasm, energy, and obvious rapport with all the performers one can, as the tenor Maximilian Schmitt remarked, ‘look into the musical soul of the piece.’ And that is exactly what Ticciati achieved.
It was an international cast and the choice of singers was superb, with their voices blending beautifully when they sang duos, trios and quartets.
The mezzo-soprano Rachel Frenkel was Dorabella; the soprano Laura Tatulescu, who displayed great acting skills in her role as Despina; the tenor Maximilian Schmitt was Ferrando; the bass baritone Adam Plachetka was Guglielmo; Christopher Maltman, the bass baritone was Don Alfonso and the soprano Sally Matthews as Fiordilligi, displayed a wonderful vocal range when she sang the aria in Scene 11. It was a remarkable performance by all.
Event: 4 October 2012