I was back at the Four Seasons Centre last night for another look at the COC’s new production of Così fan tutte. Broadly speaking, I stand by what I wrote about Saturday’s opening performance. There were a few things I noticed or paid more attention to this time though.
- The girls in on the plot? – There’s a lot of silent business between Don Alfonso and the girls right at the beginning. Is he giving them rings? Is it a token that it will be all right on the night? The girls may know about the bet but do they know the details? Does it get a bit out of control and the emotions unleashed become genuine? All, I think, valid questions and none clearly resolved.
- The chemistry between the girls is extraordinary. They really do feed off each other and are totally credible as teenage sisters. This has to be seen to be fully grasped.
- Robert Gleadow is a very interesting combination of sexy and dangerous. He showed his abilities as Publio last year; making of the role more than I would have thought possible. Here, Guglielmo comes off as a just about in control sociopath. I really want to see this guy sing Don Giovanni.
- The house was full on a truly filthy Toronto winter evening. People were enjoying themselves. There was laughter. Sure, I heard the occasional snooty remark about Egoyan’s OTTness but overall I think it showed that there is a market for smart, sexy opera that doesn’t assume that the audience is firmly stuck in the 1950s. Canada’s regional companies might take note.
- That said, two of the three performances that aren’t padded by season subscribers have lots of tickets available. The “new” COC season model relies heavily on single ticket sales so it will be interesting to see whether that inventory moves.