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Cosi fan tutte review at Glyndebourne Sussex

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Though Nicholas Hytner has found time to rehearse this revival of last year’s production, its basic fault remains. Mozart’s comedy may be serious, but it’s still a comedy, and laughs are slow in coming in the first half, at least. But Vicki Mortimer’s period designs retain their Neapolitan appeal.

It’s odd that one of the weakest members of last year’s sextet – Ainhoa Garmendia’s charmless Despina – is back, though the other, the Don Alfonso, has been replaced. Like his predecessor, Alfonso Antoniozzi fails to stamp his authority on the show – he is the motivator of the action, after all – and occasionally, he sings flat.

All the rest are new. Rachel Harnisch’s gaunt Fiordiligi struggles with some of the notes, but Israeli mezzo Rinat Shaham brings personality and Mediterranean sunshine as Dorabella.

The young men are good, with Stephane Degout a personable and forthright Guglielmo and Pavol Breslik handsome in voice and looks as Ferrando. His singing is the vocal highpoint.

Robin Ticciati, 23 years old and now music director of Glyndebourne on Tour, conducts. His is a skilful performance, and he’s clearly in command of his forces. Occasionally there’s a want of momentum – the notes are all there, though they’re not flowing strongly enough. But it’s more than promising. The rest is acceptable and often more, yet it’s not the equal of last summer’s production, nor of last autumn’s touring version, which was superior to both.

Production Information

Glyndebourne, Sussex, May 22-July 15

Nicholas Hytner
Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Cast includes
Rachel Harnisch, Rinat Shaham, Ainhoa Garmendia, Pavol Breslik, Stephane Degout, Alfonso Antoniozzi
Running time
4hrs 35mins

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