Friday, January 19, 2018

Praise for Così fan tutte

From left: Ginger Costa-Jackson (Dorabella), Craig Verm (Guglielmo), Laura Tatulescu (Despina), Marina Costa-Jackson (Fiordiligi), and Tuomas Katajala (Ferrando). Philip Newton photo.
"Local and current references make Miller’s boisterous rendition funnier and more relatable to contemporary viewers. Cell phones are everywhere, with characters texting and snapping selfies throughout. Television cameras film Guglielmo and Ferrando heading off to war. Characters mic drop, hair flip and play air guitar. The Dothraki language from HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” is among the clever present-day references in the supertitles by Seattle Opera’s Jonathan Dean."-Queen Anne News

"Cosi is an ensemble opera in which all six principals have delightful stage business and beautiful music to sing; the finest productions, like this one, feature a well-rounded cast with the acting and singing chops to make us laugh and cry along with them."-Seattle P.I.

Kevin Burdette (Don Alfonso) and Laura Tatulescu (Despina). Philip Newton photo.
"As Despina, Laura Tatulescu was both versatile and clever. Kevin Burdette gave a detailed and suave portrayal of the wily Don Alfonso, who sets the plot into motion by proposing that the boyfriends test their girls’ fidelity by wooing each other’s girl in disguise."-Seattle Times

"Kevin Burdette (Don Alfonso at all shows) was a suave, supercilious conspirator while Laura Tatulescu’s Despina (again, at all shows) was the perfect bored foil for the flighty sisters."-Seattle P.I.

"Kevin Burdette was a natural as the instigator of the opera’s action, the suavely manipulative Alfonso. He could command a scene with a mere gesture or his richly polished bass. As Despina, the sisters’ personal assistant who first appears bringing lattes to her employers, Laura Tatulescu was delightful in her insubordination and her impersonations of a lawyer and a doctor — plus she rocked her high notes."-Queen Anne News

Marina Costa-Jackson (Fiorgiligi) and Ginger Costa-Jackson (Dorabella). Philip Newton photo.
“One reason Saturday’s opening-night cast was such a success was the “sister act” of two real-life sisters — Marina Costa-Jackson as Fiordiligi and Ginger Costa-Jackson as Dorabella. Both have rich, beautifully produced voices of considerable agility (Marina’s “Come scoglio” was a showstopping standout).”-Seattle Times

"Amusing and affecting as the embattled Fiordiligi rigorously defending her honor, soprano Marina Costa-Jackson displayed a thrilling vocalism that blazed through the prodigious leaps in her arias, generating the longest applause for an individual singer. Ginger Costa-Jackson was a wonder as Dorabella, Fiordiligi’s flirtatious sister, with a dark-hued, vibrant mezzo."-Queen Anne News

From left: Laura Tatulescu (Despina), Hanna Hipp (Dorabella), and Marjukka Tepponen (Fiordiligi). Tuffer photo.
"There’s a bit more steel and a lot of great technique in Marjukka Tepponen’s Fiordiligi (she has a glorious laugh), and much to admire in Hanna Hipp’s more yielding, lyrical Dorabella."-Seattle Times

“Conductor Paul Daniel kept the musical pace humming along … [and] also supported the singers admirably with his continuo playing (on a particularly fine fortepiano), with cellist Meeka Quan DiLorenzo.”-Seattle Times

"Fiordiligi is the most challenging role in this opera, because it demands the ability to jump to the extremes of a huge vocal range. Most sopranos who attempt this role end up sounding harsh and unpleasant, but Tepponen maintained her lustrous tone in every part of her range. She delivered the goods, both vocally and emotionally."-Seattle Gay News

Tuomas Katajala (Ferrando) and Craig Verm (Guglielmo). Tuffer photo.
"Katajala’s lyricism and Verm’s warm baritone were a pleasure to hear. Harry Fehr, who staged the revival, had them dashing about the stage, doing push-ups, posturing and in more or less constant motion."-Seattle Times

"Although Tuomas Katajala has a warm caramel tenor that was especially lovely in his paean to his love, Un’ aura amorosa, his voice also showed a steely backbone when his Ferrando was enraged. Craig Verm’s honeyed baritone coupled with his Guglielmo’s confident sexuality when disguised left no doubt he could seduce one of the sisters."-Queen Anne News 

From left: Kevin Burdette (Don Alfonso), Ben Bliss (Ferrando), and Michael Adams (Guglielmo). Tuffer photo.
"Ben Bliss brought a bright, beautifully produced tone to Ferrando, and Michael Adams was a smoothly sonorous Guglielmo."-Seattle Times

"All of the cast members looked great in Cynthia Savage’s contemporary costumes, from the high-style glamour of the sisters’ outfits to the hilarious “biker dudes” get-up assumed by their boyfriends in disguise. Since Miller, the original production director, believes that we become different people when we wear disguises, the costumes really count in this show."-Seattle Times

"Kevin Burdette and Laura Tatulescu (who sing these roles in all performances) nearly stole the show. Tatulescu was perfect as the spunky, resentful servant who also turns up disguised as a doctor and a notary. Burdette was a marvel: suave, graceful, and charming, he almost made the audience like the deplorable Don Alfonso, thereby adding another layer of discomfort and complexity. I look forward to Tatulescu's and Burdette's performances in Beatrice and Benedict, the next Seattle Opera offering."-Seattle Gay News

Seattle Opera's Così fan tutte plays through January 27, 2018 at McCaw Hall.
Tickets & info: seattleopera.org/cosi