Artificial and cruel Così

In 1988 Jean-Pierre Ponnelle made the last of his lip synched opera films; Mozart’s Così fan tutte.  It carries Ponnelle’s trademark “artificialityeven further than in other of his films that I have seen.  The sets, the costumes, the acting and the camera work never let us forget that this is a work of the, in the director’s words, “greatest artificiality”.  It also becomes increasingly clear as the piece progresses that Ponnelle has a very clear idea of what “the opera is about”.  Continue reading