Arizona Opera is closing its 2018-19 regular season with one of the most popular operas in the repertoire, and one of the craziest.
But that isn’t the last we’ll hear from the company: It’s giving us a second serving of Mozart at the end of April with a bonus performance of “Cosi fan tutte” featuring members of its Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio.
Both works are opera buffas, with music by Mozart and the libretto by longtime collaborator Lorenzo Da Ponte.
“The Marriage of Figaro” is one wacky day in the court of Spanish Count Almaviva, who is determined to ruin his servant Figaro’s wedding day. See, Almaviva thinks that because of his noble status and all, he has the right to sleep with the bride, also one of his servants, on her wedding night. So Figaro, bride-to-be Susanna and the countess conspire to catch the rascal in the act, which leads to some pretty hilarious entanglements.
The story is classic Mozart — funny, with enough humorous plot twists and manipulations to spin your head. And he wraps it all in well-crafted arias that paint wonderful pictures of the characters and intricate ensemble scenes that suck you in and transport you from your seat in the audience to a place where you feel you’re somehow part of the action. You will get lost in the glorious music that drives every action on stage and pulls you into the characters’ universe in ways you rarely experience.
“Marriage of Figaro” is a great introduction to Mozart and a launching pad for the composer’s follow-up, “Cosi fan tutte.”
The Opera Studio artists, under musical director Christopher Cano and stage director David Paul, will perform the concert version of the opera with a contemporary twist — i.e. the story takes place today, not 300 years ago.
But the story remains the same: Two women are lured into cheating on their lovers in a sexist bet by the lovers’ friend who wants to prove that women by their nature are fickle. And in true Da Ponte/Mozart fashion, the story gets tangled in confusion and deception, with pretty hilarious results.
Arizona Opera is putting on “Cosi fan tutte” just once — at 2 p.m. April 28, at Pima Community College’s Center for the Arts Recital Hall, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $10 through tickets.azopera.org and they could go fast — the show in Phoenix to be held April 25 is sold out.