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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Flutsch

Cosi Fan Tutte: Welsh National Opera

★★★★

Review: Welsh National Opera's Cosi Fan Tutte, directed by Max Hoehn. Viewed at Oxford's New Theatre on 27 March 2024. On tour throughout the UK until May 24.

[Disclosure: Our reviewer received free tickets, free drinks and a free programme for the purposes of this review.]


Cosi Fan Tutte Welsh National Opera

The Welsh National Opera's new production of Cosi Fan Tutte is a bubbly, light hearted pleasure.  Traditionally set in Naples, Cosi Fan Tutte is the story of two young men who loudly and extravagantly proclaim their fiancés to be the most faithful, trustworthy women in the world.  Their friend, a jaded bachelor, tells them that no woman who is truly tested will ever be faithful.  What ensues is a comedic series of events that culminates in everybody having a more measured, mature understanding of relationships.

 

Cosi Fan Tutte Welsh National Opera

The Welsh National Opera has set its production of Cosi Fan Tutte in a high school – which I always think is a complete stroke of genius. Setting the hyperbolic language to teenage love gives it a believable context and bring to the story a fun “coming of age” sensibility. The two male (anti) heroes are, in the Welsh National Opera's version, grotty, clueless teenage boys.  This makes the girls’ flowery adoration of the boys’ physical beauty and upstanding characters rather hilarious.


Cosi Fan Tutte Welsh National Opera
Egor Zhuravskii as Ferrando, Sophie Bevan as Fiordiligi, Kayleigh Decker as Dorabella and James Atkinson as Guglielmo

The Welsh National Opera's production provides a great fun setting for Mozart's score, giving full scope to the beauty of the arias while allowing the school camaraderie of the ensemble pieces to shine through.


Cosi Fan Tutte Welsh National Opera
Egaor Zhuravskii as Ferrando, Rebecca Evans as Despina and James Atkinson as Guglielmo

All aspects of the production are done well, and all the performances are competent, with some performances outstanding.  The Welsh National Opera's production of Cosi Fan Tutte is accessible and fun and would make an excellent first opera, though I think seasoned opera lovers will also enjoy this fruity, frivolous delight.

 

If you enjoyed reading this review, you may enjoy reading my other reviews of the Welsh National Opera's productions or my other posts about opera.

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