Magazine article Opera Canada

Winnioeg

Magazine article Opera Canada

Winnioeg

Article excerpt

The Little Opera Company launched its 15th season Oct. 16 with Mozart's Cosi fan tutte in a two-hour adaptation performed in English with spoken dialogue in lieu of recitative. Director Spencer Duncanson's intriguing choice to set the production during the early 1900s created a modernized version, drawing parallels between the women's suffrage movement gaining momentum at that time and Da Pont'e s tale of fiance-swapping. But beyond Jamie Plummer's turn-of-the-century set design and Norma LaChance's period costumes, Duncanson's vision couldn't really go any further than a visual hint at female empowerment.

The cast of six performed as a tightly cohesive ensemble, with soprano Sandra Bender's Fiordiligi a particular standout. Her stirring Act II "Dearest love, I beg your pardon" ("Per pieta, ben mio" earned well-deserved Bravas. Mezzo Brenna Corner (Dorabella) did not fare as well. Although a confident performer, she struggled with intonation during "Come, endless agony" ("Smanie implacabili"), although coped better when Bender's powerful voice provided steady ballast in their duets.

Baritone Scott Braun's Don Alfonso comically sobbed his way through "How I hate to break the news" ("Vorrei dir") before giving two thumbs up as the women tearfully bid adieu to their fiances during the quintet, "Be sure to write me daily" ("Di scrivermi ogni giorno"). …

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