Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart - Cosi fan Tutte / Dessi Ziegler Corbelli Scarabelli Kundlak Desderi Muti La Scala Opera|
Actors: Daniela Dessė, Jozef Kundlak, Delores Ziegler, Alessandro Corbelli, Riccardo Muti
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Daniella Dessė and Delores Ziegler lead the cast in Mozart's brilliant and witty opera as the two women whose faithfulness in the face of romantic love is ruthlessly tested in Da Ponte's comic tale. Mozart lavishes some of... more »
A Traditional Production with a Superb Ensemble
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 11/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't have a lot of hope for this 1989 La Scala production, largely because I had assumed, mistakenly apparently, that Italians don't do Mozart very well. Granted, this is a production from La Scala and if anyone could do it one would assume that they could. Further, I had just been charmed by the Glyndebourne DVD of 'Così' from 1975, the one led by John Pritchard. Boy, was I wrong! This is one wonderful production of what many feel is Mozart's most nearly perfect opera. Riccardo Muti is in the pit and his Scala orchestra play like angels for him. The sets are beautiful (and much more so than the somewhat Pop Art-ish Glyndebourne sets). The backdrops overlook the Bay of Naples and the sky and water are blue, blue, blue. The foregrounds are fairly simple - a few columns, some tables, benches, stairs, drapes. When Ferrando and Guglielmo go off to join their military unit they are picked up by a rather nice three-masted ship that sails in from the wings and then carries them off. Costumes are also traditional, typical 17-century trappings with wigs, period-specific military uniforms for the men, lovely gowns for the women. I was amused that the hat worn by Despina when she appears as the magnetic Doctor in Act I looks like a pilgrim hat, but I guess that's not really anachronistic, just a little funny-looking to an American viewer.
Musically, this performance has much to recommend it. All six principal singers are wonderful, including those I'd never heard of before (Jozef Kundlak as Ferrando, Adelina Scarabelli as Despina). Daniela Dessì, who went on to sing the big Verdi roles (a recently released 'Aïda' DVD is a case in point), is superb as Fiordiligi. Her 'Come scoglio' benefits from her ability to sing dramatically. Delores Ziegler is an adorable Dorabella (sorry, I couldn't resist the alliteration). 'Smanie implacabili' and her participation in the numerous ensembles were rock-solid. Kundlak sings a melting 'Un aura amorosa' and wonderful 'Tradito, schernito.' Alessandro Corbelli, as Guglielmo, provides a baritone solidity to his ensembles and really shines in 'In core vi dono.' The two male lovers' voices blend admirably. Claudio Desderi is a reliable but somewhat stolid Don Alfonso who nonetheless drives the plot. The star of this production is Scarabelli's Despina. Without crossing over into slapstick, she is pert and knowing in the scenes as herself and funny without resorting to ugly comic voices as the Doctor and then the Notary in the final scene (well, maybe a little bit of a comic voice for the coughing Notary). When all six principals sing together or in duets or terzetti they blend beautifully. This not always the case in some productions of 'Così.' I've never actually seen or heard a bad production of the opera (and that includes one that was set, get this!, on a spaceship), at least from a musical perspective. There is something about it that brings out the best in singers. In this production the acting may be a bit generic (with the exception of Scarabelli and the two sisters), but it is more than serviceable. The ending is traditional - none of this mucking about with a switcheroo as to who marries whom.
This is, of course, a modern instruments version, and the musical presentation is also rather traditional. The tempi are well-judged, not rushed as they are sometimes these days, and the opera unfolds at a comfortable pace. In fact, 'comfortable' is a word I would use for this production. Nothing is intended to shock or titillate. It's just Mozart's opera meticulously prepared and presented. And the comedy speaks for itself.
English subtitles only. The full Italian libretto is included in the booklet. No extras. Sound: Dolby Stereo, and in contradistinction to criticisms of the VHS version, quite adequate for its time.
Recommended, particularly if a traditional production is wanted.
A bargain of enjoyment
George B. Laurent | florida | 09/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have 3 of the current Cosi's but not on DVD. The previous negative reviews made me hesitate but the strong positives convinced me to gamble. I strongly agree with the positive reviews. Not only is it a very good production but it is at bargain cost!"
Excellent in Every Way
F. Austerlitz | Provo, Utah United States | 07/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have nothing bad to say about this DVD, which is saying something in itself. The singing is great, the music is superb, the sets are elegant, the sound quality is great. :) One satisfied customer."
BEAUTIFULLY SUNG, BEAUTIFULLY STAGED TRADITIONAL PRODUCTION
Jesse Knight | woburn ma usa | 12/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A new Cosi from Zurich is so good that I have rewritten this review on July 2, 2010. Zurich's 2009 production, although quite beautiful to look at, has some regietheater action which will not please people wanting a purely traditional production. La Scala,s production is beautiful and by the book.
Vocally both are superb but there is a better sense of ensemble in the acting with zurich.
As good as Muti is as the conductor, Zurich's Welser-Moest has given us a much more insightful reading that is much more exciting. There is a sense of drama with Welser-Moest that I find unique. I still would put Muti second only to Welser-Moest.
The sound on the Zurich DVD is overall much superior to the La Scala which is 20 years older. However on headphones the Zurich has some stereo image instability on occasion, plus occasional "burbling" sounds affecting the lower strings and bassoons. These intermittent defects probably will not be audible on speakers in average listening rooms.
At this time the price of the Zurich production is very high making the La Scala a genuine bargain."