Opéra National de Paris 2016-17 Preview: Mozart’s ‘Così Fan Tutte’ Returns With Two Casts

By David Salazar

Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte” makes its appearance at the Paris National Opera this coming Monday featuring a relatively young cast in a dynamic production be Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. The run kicks off on Jan. 23 and runs through Feb. 19 for a grand total of 10 performances.

The Performers

Getting the bulk of work as Fiodiligi is Jacquelyn Wagner, who last sung this role in May 2016 at the Opera Koln. The soprano is coming off a run of Verdi’s “Otello” in Dusseldorf and is slated to play Eva in Wagner’s “Die Mesitersinger von Nurnberg” in Milan before performing in “Sadko” in Antwerp.

Michèle Losier, who has not been in action since April 2016, plays Dorabella while Frédéric Antoun plays Ferrando. This is just his second run of the Mozart Opera after he performed it in April 2016 in Marseille. Phillippe Sly returns to the role of Guglielmo for the first time since 2013 while Paolo Szot sings his first Mozart opera since 2012 when he took on “Don Giovanni” in Washington.

Rising star Ginger Costa Jackson, who has been performing the role of “Carmen” almost exclusively for the last year, will have a change of pace for this run before returning to the role of the Gypsy in April.

The Cast on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7

The company will feature a radically different cast on those two dates.

Ida Falk Winland will take on Fiordiligi. She is well-known for her work in Mozart’s operas, including “Idomeneo,” “Le nozze di Figaro” and “Don Giovanni.” Stephanie Lauricella will return to the role of Dorabella after taking it on in Berlin last September while Cyrille Dubois plays Ferrando after a run in Normandie last fall. Edwin Crossley-Mercer takes on his first ever Guglielmo while Simone Del Savio does the same as Don Alfonso. Mária Celeng, who has sung both Despina and Fiordiligo, takes on the role of the wise servant for those two nights.

Phillippe Jordan conducts the entire run in a production.

The Opera

The third of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas, “Così” is often overlooked for its simpler (or more convoluted depending on who you ask) narrative. It is features a number of major arias for all of the voice types and some beautifully memorable ensembles, none more so than the trio “Soave il vento.”

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It might not move at the same pace as “Nozze” or “Don Giovanni,” but it has its fair share of laughs and is undeniably, of the three, the most relaxed.

Notable Recordings

The most famous recording of the opera features Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Christa Ludwig, Alfredo Kraus, Giuseppe Taddei and Walter Berry under Karl Böhm.

Those looking for a more recent performance on audio recording can turn to Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s recording with Miah Persson, Angela Brower and Rolando Villazón among others.

On video, Claus Guth’s production with Isabel Leonard and Miah Persson is a popular option for its ability to bring the opera to modern times in nuanced manner.