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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | March 21, 2002
In Louis Nowra's play Cosi, a group of Melbourne mental patients stage an Italian opera during the Vietnam War era. Despite these eclectic elements, this Australian comedy is less intriguing than it sounds. Cosi rehashes such obvious themes as the importance of love, especially in wartime, and that old chestnut about psychiatric inmates being saner than those outside (King of Hearts, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, etc.). Nor is the idea of mental patients staging a play novel. Peter Weiss explored it to greater effect in Marat/Sade, a work that allows for more interpretive latitude than Nowra's naturalistic drama.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 22, 2009
The battle of the sexes will always provide fodder for entertainment. The issue of fidelity, in particular, never runs out of juice - if it did, a massive wing of the television industry would suddenly collapse. Innumerable operas have depended on this topic, too. And none more incisively than Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte," which delivers its laughs with a pinch of pain. Except for the sexist notion at the heart of the plot, little about the 1790 opera seems dated. The sitcom elements in Lorenzo da Ponte's libretto still amuse, while the deeper, darker examinations of the human heart can still touch us in surprising ways.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 14, 1996
The Washington Opera has had a very good season, the last to be booked by its former executive director, Martin Feinstein. And the company's final production Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte," which opened last week and resumes tonight at 8 through March 24 seems the finest work it has done this year: a nearly perfect production of one of the most beautiful of operas.Some composers may be judged to represent different aspects of the human experience: Beethoven is about heroism; Wagner is about sex; Richard Strauss is about nostalgia.
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By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | December 29, 2006
My 14-year-old granddaughter Marie, her friend and I are about to discover whether First Night Annapolis can in fact delight all ages and tastes. At Sunday's 16th annual New Year's Eve event, a family-oriented, alcohol-free celebration of the arts staged downtown, we plan to sample each other's cultures while savoring our own. The event starts with First Act from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Here the youngest celebrants and their parents will be entertained in several rooms with balloon games, face painting, arts and crafts, clowns and puppets.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC PTC | March 24, 1996
Mozart, "Cosi Fan Tutte," performed by Renee Fleming (Fiordiligi), Anne Sofie von Otter (Dorabella), Frank Lopardo (Ferrando), Guglielmo (Olaf Bar), Despina (Adelina Scarabelli), Don Alfonso (Michele Pertusi) and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Georg Solti conducting (London 444 174-2):Of the great Mozart operas, "Cosi Fan Tutte" is the most difficult to record successfully. All of the composer's operas are ensemble works, but "Cosi" is a special case. We think of Fiordiligi and Dorabella as "the sisters," of Ferrando and Guglielmo as "the men," and of the four of them as "the lovers."
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 5, 2001
A successful performance of a Mozart opera requires three things: beautiful, yet agile voices; stylish presentation; and the expressive depth to move from comedy to the most achingly gorgeous melodies ever written - and back again - at a moment's notice. A tall order. But I saw all this and more at last weekend's Annapolis Opera production of Mozart's sparkling "Cosi fan tutte." Beautiful, agile voices could be heard all over the Maryland Hall stage. Soprano Angela Fout and lyric mezzo Lori Hultgren were delights to the ear as Fiordiligi and Dorabella, the sisters engaged to pair of young men brought to life under Braxton Peters' stage direction as a pair of 19th-century midshipmen at the Naval Academy.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 20, 2000
Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" may not exactly be the original "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice," but it certainly skirts such provocative territory, which explains why the opera raised lots of eyebrows in Victorian times. It took the 20th century, with its steady loosening of moral codes, for "Cosi" to be fully appreciated as a brilliant comedy for adults. Even when presented with the action set in 1790 Naples, this story of two pairs of fiances who get their affections all twisted up can make for a very diverting, enlightening night of music and theater.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 15, 2002
Before there were sitcoms, there were comic operas. They used many of the same plot devices, especially the eternal battle between the sexes, and they sometimes went beyond humor and shtick to make more serious, even touching points. Mozart's Cosi fan tutte may be the best example of this not-just-comic comic opera. The plot of two men testing their girlfriends' fidelity invariably provokes plenty of laughter, but also reveals a glimpse of humanity in the characters; there are painful lessons underneath the silliness.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck | March 7, 2002
Rarely seen `Cosi' comes to Fell's Point Cosi - a play about a young director's efforts to stage Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte with a cast of mental patients - opens tomorrow at Fell's Point Corner Theatre. Written by Australian playwright Louis Nowra, Cosi was made into a movie in the playwright's native country but has had few stage productions in the United States. Fell's Point Corner's production is directed by Richard Dean Stover and features a cast headed by Linda Chambers, Tony Colavito, Laura Cosner, Larry Malkus, Patrick Martyn and Lynda McClary.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 10, 2002
Suspicion. There are few weapons as destructive in life -- or in opera. It's as devastating in Mozart's comedy Cosi fan tutte as in Verdi's tragedy Otello, two works getting new productions this week -- Cosi from Peabody Opera Theatre, Otello from Baltimore Opera Company. Only one man and a few choice words are needed to start suspicions about a lover's faithfulness rolling through each work. And it's a short trip from suspicion to rampant jealousy and pain. For Mozart's lovers, the jealousy gives way to a kind of truth, understanding and happy ending (at least we hope so)
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | March 21, 2002
In Louis Nowra's play Cosi, a group of Melbourne mental patients stage an Italian opera during the Vietnam War era. Despite these eclectic elements, this Australian comedy is less intriguing than it sounds. Cosi rehashes such obvious themes as the importance of love, especially in wartime, and that old chestnut about psychiatric inmates being saner than those outside (King of Hearts, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, etc.). Nor is the idea of mental patients staging a play novel. Peter Weiss explored it to greater effect in Marat/Sade, a work that allows for more interpretive latitude than Nowra's naturalistic drama.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 15, 2002
Before there were sitcoms, there were comic operas. They used many of the same plot devices, especially the eternal battle between the sexes, and they sometimes went beyond humor and shtick to make more serious, even touching points. Mozart's Cosi fan tutte may be the best example of this not-just-comic comic opera. The plot of two men testing their girlfriends' fidelity invariably provokes plenty of laughter, but also reveals a glimpse of humanity in the characters; there are painful lessons underneath the silliness.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 10, 2002
Suspicion. There are few weapons as destructive in life -- or in opera. It's as devastating in Mozart's comedy Cosi fan tutte as in Verdi's tragedy Otello, two works getting new productions this week -- Cosi from Peabody Opera Theatre, Otello from Baltimore Opera Company. Only one man and a few choice words are needed to start suspicions about a lover's faithfulness rolling through each work. And it's a short trip from suspicion to rampant jealousy and pain. For Mozart's lovers, the jealousy gives way to a kind of truth, understanding and happy ending (at least we hope so)
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | March 7, 2002
Rarely seen `Cosi' comes to Fell's Point Cosi - a play about a young director's efforts to stage Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte with a cast of mental patients - opens tomorrow at Fell's Point Corner Theatre. Written by Australian playwright Louis Nowra, Cosi was made into a movie in the playwright's native country but has had few stage productions in the United States. Fell's Point Corner's production is directed by Richard Dean Stover and features a cast headed by Linda Chambers, Tony Colavito, Laura Cosner, Larry Malkus, Patrick Martyn and Lynda McClary.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 5, 2001
A successful performance of a Mozart opera requires three things: beautiful, yet agile voices; stylish presentation; and the expressive depth to move from comedy to the most achingly gorgeous melodies ever written - and back again - at a moment's notice. A tall order. But I saw all this and more at last weekend's Annapolis Opera production of Mozart's sparkling "Cosi fan tutte." Beautiful, agile voices could be heard all over the Maryland Hall stage. Soprano Angela Fout and lyric mezzo Lori Hultgren were delights to the ear as Fiordiligi and Dorabella, the sisters engaged to pair of young men brought to life under Braxton Peters' stage direction as a pair of 19th-century midshipmen at the Naval Academy.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 29, 2001
Most of the time, power and charm seem to be emanating from completely different sources. After all, power is visceral and forceful, while charm is imbued with deftly applied dashes of elegance and artful wit. But when listening to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, this distinction begins to break down. And with his celestial opera, "Cosi fan tutte," which will be performed this weekend at Maryland Hall by the Annapolis Opera, the power/charm dichotomy is obliterated with authority.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 15, 1995
Cecilia Bartoli, "A Portrait," arias and art songs by Mozart, Rossini, Parisotti, Caccini and others (London 448 300-2); Jennifer Larmore, "Where Shall I Fly," arias by Handel and Mozart, performed with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Jesus Lopez-Cobos conducting (Teldec 4509-96800-2)It used to be the case that the great rivalries in divadom were between sopranos, but these two mezzos seem to be changing that. The beauty of their voices, their dramatic abilities and their capacity for breathtaking coloratura have made Bartoli and Larmore perhaps the most exciting female singers in the world, and we can expect them to compete for roles for decades to come.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | December 29, 2006
My 14-year-old granddaughter Marie, her friend and I are about to discover whether First Night Annapolis can in fact delight all ages and tastes. At Sunday's 16th annual New Year's Eve event, a family-oriented, alcohol-free celebration of the arts staged downtown, we plan to sample each other's cultures while savoring our own. The event starts with First Act from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Here the youngest celebrants and their parents will be entertained in several rooms with balloon games, face painting, arts and crafts, clowns and puppets.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 20, 2000
Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" may not exactly be the original "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice," but it certainly skirts such provocative territory, which explains why the opera raised lots of eyebrows in Victorian times. It took the 20th century, with its steady loosening of moral codes, for "Cosi" to be fully appreciated as a brilliant comedy for adults. Even when presented with the action set in 1790 Naples, this story of two pairs of fiances who get their affections all twisted up can make for a very diverting, enlightening night of music and theater.
FEATURES
By Judith Green and Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 1, 1998
Last week's column outlined the seasons of the area's opera companies. Here are some single operas hiding in the corners of the year to come.Other than "Samson et Dalila" at Washington Opera, French opera is largely neglected this season -- except by Washington Concert Opera, which will present an unstaged version of Ambroise Thomas' "Hamlet."Canadian baritone Russell Braun sings the title role (which the French pronounce "omelet"), and Ruth Ann Swenson (who sang Juliette for Baltimore Opera in 1997)
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