Cosi Fan Tutte - Aspen Opera Theater Season 2015

"Robinson has made it into a confection that brings out every bit of wit and cleverness. On a relative shoestring. He has moved the whole thing to the ‘50s-‘60s. The scenic design by [Jason Simms] — mid-century digs and furnishings — and the vintage-style costumes by Summer Lee Jack are spot-on, and it is laugh-out-loud funny. The excellent chorus also move sets and the whole thing has an air of Mickey-and-Judy-let’s-put-on-a-show that makes you feel involved from the outset.” - Patricia Zohn from Huffington Post article on Cosi Fan Tutte

When reviews mention the costume details but don’t credit the costume designer: "Visiting director James Robinson, who often works with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, updated the time and scene to a sort of late 1950s-early 1960s “Mad Men” vibe. In this setting Don Alfonso, a cynical gray-haired advertising executive, bets two young friends (Ferrando and Gugliemo) that he can prove their fiancées aren’t as faithful as they believe. He sets the men to wooing (in disguise) their opposite fiancées. Fiordiligi and Dorabella are Pan Am stewardesses (the gender-neutral “flight attendants” would be years away) and their maid Despina is portrayed here as a world-weary, hard-edged character like Thelma Ritter played in many films of that era.

Paul Han as Ferrando and Geoffrey Hahn as Guglielmo made the most of their increasingly conflicted feelings and put on a smirk-worthy show in their scenes as faux-Albanians. (For those too distant from the stage to read it, the logo on the back of their painter's overalls read "Albanian Décor.")

Though sometimes mezzo-soprano Sofia Selowsky missed the lilt in Despina’s music, she made the character, usually played cute, into an amusingly grumpy maid with hard-edged singing to match. She got big laughs for her turns as a yellow-gloved and booted doctor, and as the fussy notary in the faux-wedding finale.” - Harvey Steiman from the Aspen Times on Cosi Fan Tutte

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