PETER SELLARS' new brainstorm, his version of Mozart's opera "Cosi Fan Tuti," is fine if you like wonderful Mozart music and good singing in a Westchester, N.Y., diner -- and Sellars' special delight in degrading women by walking one around in a bra, having the men paw them all over and making them grovel on the floor. Otherwise, it's not so fine.
The Sellars version, to be seen at 10 p.m. Friday on channels 22 and 67, simulcast on WBJC (91.5 FM), is women-demeaning, juvenile and dishonest to Mozart. Mozart intended this to be a comedy of manners. Instead Sellars makes it an unfunny dark drama whose weird details distract from the rich music.
Little is terribly askew with the modern setting, it's just quite showy. The diner is cute-green vinyl booths and aluminum siding. The modern era is gimmicky -- a message comes across the screen announcing "The President has today decided to invade Iraq." Granted, Mozart's opera, the title meaning "Women are like that," has always bothered some because the fickle and unfaithful women often seem to come off worse than the silly pretentious men.