. Interchanging Idioms: NYC Opera: Christopher Alden's "Così" at John Jay College, March 18-24

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NYC Opera: Christopher Alden's "Così" at John Jay College, March 18-24

“If City Opera gives us an Alden production a year, it'll be an extraordinary gift to our cultural life." — New York Observer

New York City Opera presents the second installment in director Christopher Alden's Mozart/Da Ponte cycle for the company with Così fan tutte, March 18-24 in the intimate space of the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at Manhattan's John Jay College. After his visionary staging of Don Giovanni for NYC Opera in 2009, Alden brings similar daring to his production of Così, Mozart's bittersweet meditation on the ever-thorny issues of loyalty and commitment, attraction and desire. Covering his Don Giovanni, the New York Observer declared that Alden creates “the most consistently vibrant operatic theater in the city. . . If City Opera gives us an Alden production a year in perpetuity, it'll be an extraordinary gift to our cultural life."

Così fan tutte will be enlivened by a vibrant, talented cast, including Jennifer Holloway (Dorabella), Allan Clayton (Ferrando) and Rod Gilfry (Don Alfonso) in their NYC Opera debuts, along with returning artists Sara Jakubiak (Fiordiligi), Marie Lenormand (Despina) and Philip Cutlip (Guglielmo). The performances will be conducted by Christian Curnyn. The sets are designed by Andrew Lieberman and costumes by Terese Wadden, with lighting design by Aaron Black.

Christopher Alden, a native of New York City and a veteran of New York City Opera – his first production for the company was Rossini’s Le comte Ory in 1979 – returns to directing for NYC Opera after his 2010 production of A Quiet Place. The New York Times, in an autumn feature story on Alden's preparations for Così fan tutte, wrote, "Mr. Alden’s work has always been thoughtful and provocative, but it has lately taken on an even greater elegance and subtle power. His recent productions for City Opera – Don Giovanni in 2009 and Bernstein’s A Quiet Place last year – revealed new depths in two very different operas." The article described the Così production as "set in a park as night falls and envelops the characters in darkness as they play out the plot’s cruel game: Two men, egged on by an older friend, disguise themselves to test their fiancées’ fidelity, a test both fail."

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