The first two operas of the Cincinnati Opera season are history – and great history at that!
The very first, Faust, had a lot of scariness in it, negativity, fear and wickedness – and absolutely glorious singing and acting. The Devil understood evil, was happy to be evil, and got what he wanted out of every situation. Faust, of course, only wanted what he wanted and didn’t want to think about the consequences. I’d never seen it before, am now glad I have – and won’t likely ever put those images in front of my eyes again. But the music…. that I’ll keep!
Cosi Fan Tutte is all Mozart all the time – the music, the instruments he chose to make the music, the tangled up fun – Mozart is the Best of All Time in opera in my book. The devilish role is taken by a bass (heroes in opera are always tenors) who bets two young military officers that their fiancees won’t be true while they’re gone. He plays them perfectly – so that each of them attempts to seduce the chosen of the other. Many mix-ups, humor and much glorious ensemble singing later, this version of the opera ended a bit ambiguously – the four are together, but who has chosen who?
I had never seen an opera until I was 42, and then fell hopelessly head over heels in love with it. Outrageous stories. Over the top acting. Non-stop incredible voices. If it’s summertime in Cincinnati, it’s opera season – and I’m there!