18 January 2012 | TheLittleSongbird
A fun Cosi, but I've seen better
Overall I did enjoy this Cosi Fan Tutte. Of the Mozart Glyndebourne performances in the 6 DVD collection(1973's Le Nozze Di Figaro, 1974's Idomeneo, this, 1977's Don Giovanni, 1978's Magic Flute and 1980's Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail) it is somewhere in the middle, not as good as Figaro and Entfuhrung, but much better than Idomeneo(by far the worst of the collection).
Is it is my first choice for Cosi Fan Tutte on DVD. No, not for me. I much preferred the ones from 2000, 1989 and 1992(with Roocroft and Gilfry). However it is still very good. What I didn't like so much about it were the distorted sound and the grainy picture quality. The costumes are good enough, and the sets if slightly generic are decent as well.
The music is wonderful, with Soave Sia Il Vento one of Mozart's single most beautiful pieces. The orchestra play stylishly, and John Pritchard's conducting is authoritative and musical if occasionally a little too fast in the first act. The story is still risqué and psychologically complex, and the production never makes it dull, the staging is nice and traditional and the first rate cast have a real sense for comedy.
Anson Austin as Ferrando stands out, especially in a warm and honeyed Un Aura Amarosa, as does a young Thomas Allen, who has a great voice and is a very gifted actor and Daniele Perriers as a funny, pretty and scheming Despina.
Helene Dose is a warm and attractive Fiordiligi, Come Scoglio is beautifully sung if perhaps one of the "tamer" renditions of that aria, and Sylvia Lindenstrand is excellent as Dorabella with her Smanie Implacabilli alongside Austin's Un Aura Amarosa, Allen's Donna Meie La Fante A Tanti, Soave Sia Il Vento and the two finales among the highlights of the productions.
Frantz Petri is reliable and richly-sung as Don Alfonso, if slightly under-characterised, not quite cynical enough. All in all, fun if rather lacking technically and not my first choice. 8/10 Bethany Cox