This is an opera about true and false feelings, emotional manipulation, and the striking of poses and attitudes by people who are "emotionally correct" the way many individuals and institutions today are politically correc... more »t. As the opera progresses, the attitudes of the two romantic heroes and their fiancées are gradually undermined, but they begin by saying and doing exactly what is expected of them, with results that are musically beguiling and, at the same time, very funny. In Act II, the emotion becomes real: the characters who were like puppets begin to shed true tears, and the comedy deepens into a serious statement about human fragility and the need to tolerate one another's weaknesses. These points are well made in a performance that is musically and theatrically polished, with particularly fine ensemble singing. There are six solo singers in Cosi; all the roles have approximately the same importance but in this production, as in many others, the spotlight is often stolen by the maid Despina. Adelina Scarabelli is so good in the role that you wish her performances weren't so rare. --Joe McLellan« less
"I have listened to over 600 different opera recordings in my lifetime on video and if I had to choose a video that had the worst sound quality and the worst balance of sound recording between voices and orchestra, this would be the one. This, like many opera dvds, was not a recording produced exclusively for dvd, but rather, a dvd recording re-recorded onto vhs with added menus and special effects. Muti is an excellent conductor and the emotion sparkles in this production but my ears were left straining to hear the notes of Mozart's beautiful opera. Avoid this recording like the plague and don't say that I didn't warn you. If you want a good recording of Cosi Fan Tutti to listen to, (I'm still looking for a good video recording) buy Georg Solti's recording with Michele Pertusi singing bass. You'll love it, I promise!"
Julian Hopkins | United States | 03/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's important to realize what we have here. A very sophisticated performance musically, full of vitality, beautiful orchestral playing, and six superb soloists in roles that suit them well. Riccardo Muti is one of the leading Mozart conductors of the day, and his perfectionist and stylish approach, serving the composer totally, is an absolute delight. The production is stylistic, and pretty to look at. The live performance has an electricity which is captivating. 10 out of 10 !"
Cosi Fan Tutte
B. Travis | Aledo, Texas | 08/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The sets are wonderful, as one expects from La Scala. There is not one weak voice in the cast. You will love Despina. What can I say? Mozart reigns."
Dont write this one off too quickly!!
eureka treasures | Washington DC area | 03/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The reviews here seem rather divided but if you read them carefully you will see that everyone pretty much agrees that this is a first rate production with top notch performers. Technical issues seem to have affected some of the viewers in a negative way, but I wasn't distracted in the least. I thought this version was a lot of fun. The production captures the spirit of this provocative masterpiece very nicely. It is convincingly acted and is very entertaining--- from beginning to end. Adelina Scarabelli as Despina is the stand out performer here (as others have noted). She enters the part with all her heart and you might think the role had been written with her in mind. This is the third version of Cosi I have seen and this Despina outshines the competition in this show-stopping role. There may indeed be superior versions of Cosi (like the Gardiner version) but this one has great merits and is certainly well worth experiencing."
Singers as musicians!
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 12/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a singular treasure this La Scala Cosi continues to be, lo these many years hence! SIX principal singers who are actually Musicians! A conductor so rooted in the warming sunlight of Mozart that his work here is as perfectly natural and vital as breathing, and capped by a subtly stupendous set design by a gifted Mauro Pagano! And finally, a perfect score that will outlast time itself! Wow! What is there to criticize?
I have never 'upgraded' my double VHS set to dubious dvd land. Thank god, apparently, given the whining on these review pages. Of course, I'm suspicious of audio-/videophiles in general, since rarely are they musicians who even reasonably understand the performance, let alone the MUSIC, they pontificate about. My VHS tapes continue to play splendidly (heroically, evidently!) after many runs through the old machine. What a capper to read you can purchase a single 'new' dvd version here for $205, or you can check out a 'used and/or new' VHS version beginning at $3.62. Sheeesh!... you'd think the seller who wants to unload his Cosi dvd for $200+ would at least have read the reviews claiming the transfer from VHS is something akin to degrading the human race. Ah...the sentient businessman!
Whatever. If you want to experience the finest filmed version of Mozart's ensemble masterpiece, do yourself a real deal and pop for a VHS version offered by amazon sellers before they go extinct. You'll have purchased a bit of heaven, friends, and THAT's the truth."