Mozart / da Ponte
Opens 29 May 2009 (ten performances)
New co-production with Festival International d'Art Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg
Award-winning Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami makes his UK
operatic directorial debut with Così fan tutte. Kiarostami's striking
design for this production has both simplicity and scale and his unique
approach, incorporating film within a period setting, demonstrates his original
eye for beauty.
Written and composed at the suggestion of Emperor Joseph II, it was first performed in 1790. Mozart was at the peak of his creative powers and the score is full of richness and variety. The title is often translated as "Women are like that" and "fiancée swapping" provides the theme for an opera which is both comedy and tragedy all at once. While hilarious, it is also a profound and deeply human drama.
Commenting on the opera, Kiarostami says "We have to preserve the innocence of Mozart's art, which is capable of touching the sensitive, child-like part of the audience. Così is everything except a farce. In witnessing its poetic, philosophic, emotive dimensions, the comic is a means, not an end".
The set and costume design is by Malika Chauveau with lighting designed by Jean Kalman. The cast includes Susan Gritton as Fiordiligi, Fiona Murphy as Dorabella, Thomas Glenn as Ferrando, Liam Bonner as Guglielmo, Steven Page as Don Alfonso and Sophie Bevan as Despina. The conductor Stefan Kingele, a Mozart specialist, makes his ENO conducting debut.
Kiarostami was one of the pioneering "Iranian New Wave" film directors, a Persian cinema movement that started in the late 1960s whose techniques include poetic dialogue and allegorical storytelling dealing with political and philosophical issues. Kiarostami was among the few directors to remain in Iran when many others relocated to the West after the revolution of 1979. He believes that this base and his ethnicity are at the heart of his strong artistic identity, as evident in his poetic use of Iranian landscape. He has created over 40 films since the 1970‟s, many award-winning, including Close-Up, Life, and Nothing More, Taste of Cherry and The Wind Will Carry Us. He has also been the deserving recipient of great acclaim for his poetry, photography and installations.
29 May, 4, 11, 17 (signed), 19, 26 and 2 July at 7pm; 6 and 13 June at 6pm and 5 July at 3pm
Box Office: 0871 911 0200
Pre-performance talk by Nicholas Till on 6 June at 4pm, London Coliseum, £4.
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