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4.6 out of 5 stars13
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 September 2009
I have seen and bought many versions of this opera - always searching for the definitive one. AND THIS IS IT! At Last! The reasons? Here you are:
A very attractive and sexy young cast who can ACT as well as sing superbly.
They are completely immersed in their roles, and all have great comic timing, as well as singing with great passion when called for.
The production and direction are perfect, making the plot move along at a pace. Never are you tempted to fast-forward to the next aria. (So often my criticism of other productions has been the interminable recitatives [the semi-spoken lines between the arias] which just seemed to interrupt the 'good tunes', but not here as wit and character give them all a point and make it all a great pleasure.)
And finally, the blu-ray production is especially beautiful to look at. Why wouldn't you want it?

For anyone who doesn't know the opera, I'd say 'Go for it'. It may not be quite as well known as the other Mozart/Da Ponte operas (Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni), but for my money it has the loveliest arias of the lot, as a little familiarity will surely confirm. This is Mozart at his very best - and this production is an enduring pleasure from start to end.
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on 17 June 2011
Cosi fan Tutti is probably my favourite opera and this may explain why I currently have 3 versions on Blu-ray, having previously surrendered an older performance on dvd. Each time I listen to this opera my preference is reinforced as each wonderful melody follows one after another. Surely, this must be Mozart's most sublime operatic achievement?

The Opera is just overflowing with wonderful tunes. When I watched it again last night I felt compelled to write this review and to sing the praises of this superb Glyndebourne production which, in my opinion, is the very best performance that I have ever seen.

This is a traditional production but under Nicholas Hytner's direction the plot seems to be more credible than I remember with other versions, while at the same time retaining the comic elements. In part this is also due to very competent acting from all the singers. But it is the singing which will ultimately be the deciding factor and this production has it in spades. As soon as I heard the opening notes of `Ah, guarda, sovella' I knew that this was going to be something special. And as opera lovers will know, this glorious music continues until the final note!

Technically, this disc is up there with the best with a beautifully sharp picture and with fine detail on the close-ups. I have read other reviews which have been critical of the poor lighting, de-saturated colour palette and the bland assortment of pastel ambience. For my money I thought that the picture quality was very pleasing and entirely appropriate for the production. The sound is excellent with a choice of Dolby True HD 5.0 and a 2.0 option, my preference being the former. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment played superbly under Ivan Fischer's direction with good balance between orchestra and singers. The menu system works well and, unlike a recent Blu-ray that I reviewed, the chapters moved along with the performance. This should happen with every disc but it cannot be taken for granted! There are several interesting extras about the artists and the production and these are all recorded in high definition.

Finally, I note that one reviewer had a problem with lip sych. I am pleased to report that there was no problem on my equipment and I suspect that it will not trouble most people. In fact I have never had a single blu-ray with synchronisation problems. However, such problems are quite common on ordinary dvd's. I guess that with low definition video there is a false assumption that viewers will not notice poor lip synchronisation because of the lower quality picture?

If you only want one version of Cosi then this is the version to buy. If you don't know the music, why not give it a try? It could soon become your favourite opera!
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on 8 May 2010
Another outstanding Blu Ray Mozart opera production. Thankfully traditional costuming and sets, but acted and sung with skill and relish to the delight of the audience and this viewer. The three leading ladies are particularly good and their comic acting is very amusing. One wonders just what the young Mozart observed about the behaviour of the aristocracy in his travels because his operas reflect obvious disrespect for them, something which caused considerable uproar when they were first produced. In this opera he credits the maid, Despina, deliciously sung and acted by Ainhoa Garmendia, with more intelligence and astuteness to see through the disguises of the men, than the ladies who are supposed to love them!!

As with most operas the storyline is thin and unbelievable but the artists in this Glynedebourne effort imbue the production with such delightful singing and acting one soon forgets the total improbability of what is happening and become completely immersed in it. This is the BD Mozart opera I have enjoyed the most out of a generally good lot.

The audio and video are up to the usual high Blu Ray standards. We are fortunate to have been given so many top notch Mozart operas in this format. Unreservedly recommended.
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This production of Cosi fan tutte was recorded at Glyndebourne in 2006 which was the first year of this production's staging there. The production by Nicholas Hytner is totally traditional in feel and this will come as a great relief to those who despair of the tendency of modern opera producers to feel the need to focus on their own inspiration rather than that of the plot and music. At no discernible point is either the plot or Mozart's inspiration compromised here. The period established in the production is completely reasonable as are the sets and costumes even though it is probably a little later than originally conceived. The conclusion of the opera brings an interesting twist which may warn us that playing with emotions may lead to unforeseen consequences.

The period feel of the production is underpinned by the use of the aptly named Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with their leader being appropriately named as Margaret Faultless. This choice of `authentic period' orchestra leads to much improved orchestral balance and timbres and, in the hands of conductor Ivan Fischer, a bitingly exciting delivery of the music, both instrumental and vocal. Although there will be those who will maintain that there is no actual way of being sure that this is what Mozart would have heard, in my opinion, the proof is in the listening and in this case the case for such an orchestra is made clearly enough.

The cast is, without doubt, uniformly excellent and rise wonderfully well to the challenges of live performance in the context of the likely `authentic' sounds produced by the orchestra. The tempi are challengingly fast at times but never breathless and there is always time made for sensitivity, proper phrasing and moments of doubt and reflection.

The two girls are perfectly cast with Miah Persson and Anke Vondung being a suitably lively and attractive pair of young women. Both obviously relish their respective roles as Fiordiligi and Dorabella and also each other's stage company and there is a good deal of naturally spontaneous-sounding humour provided for the audience to enjoy. This same free-wheeling behaviour is both encouraged and shared as directed in the plot by the excellent Despina performed by Ainhoa Garmendia. All three women are fully on top of the technical and musical demands of their roles and this enables them to `play' together.

The three men are well up to this standard too with Ferrando and Guglielmo delivering multi-nuanced performances as appropriate along with their `friend' Don Alfonso. These roles are delivered with great flair by Topi Lehtipuu, Luca Pisaroni and Nicholas Rivenq respectively. As a group of six they seem to make a perfect combination and are certainly the best I have ever had the privilege to watch.

There are short bonus items in the form of an illustrated synopsis and interviews with the conductor and producer as well as with some of the cast. There is also an animated cast gallery.

The recording is particularly clear visually and gives great clarity and detail while still delivering on colour definition. The sound is equally fine with clearly defined detail both on stage and in the orchestra and with good balance. It is presented in both DTS 5.1 and stereo options.

This is an exhilarating production and performance likely to give enormous pleasure upon repeat viewing. In my opinion this is one of the best Mozart discs I have yet to see or own and I have enjoyed it as such every time I have seen it in the years since I bought it. I am sure most future purchasers will have much the same responses and therefore a 5 star assessment seems completely appropriate.
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on 14 April 2011
What has been stated below is for the DVD of this work that I bought before I upgraded and bought a Blu ray...
Here goes:
I have been familiar with Cosi ever since I can remember. From an aria or two on my dad's 78RPM records to the beautiful Otto Klemperer recording on vinyl and later on to many VHS tapes and then the Gardiner version, although good, started appearing a little jaded thanks to average acting and dramatization.
So when I felt I should have a fresh new production, (sans Eurotrash), I thought I would look up the views of the reviewing proletariat - and thought I would risk buying this one.
THANKS GUYS.... Whatever you have stated in all the previous 10 reviews (for the DVD) to this is almost absolutely correct. This is the nearest thing that is akin to an un-putdownable book that I have seen. So fresh, vibrant in acting and absolutely precise sublime singing and interpretation. I think I will measure any other Cosi by the standard of this one.
Not just period costumes, but sets that are minimal, but bright and not jungle-jims or abstract pillars and stuff that do not distract, but bring out the essence of the interpretation. I am also overjoyed that it has been performed by artistes thus far not known to me... maybe they are doing well these days, must look that up now.
Just that I do not agree with one reviewer (for the DVD) who stated that the third set of Despina and the Don are not up to the mark.. Yes. Despina here is no Lucia Popp but is quite adequate for the role, and if Don had been more powerful, may have killed the character. I think he is just right for the role too...
I would unhesitatingly recommend this Blu Ray or DVD to anyone irrespective of whether it is the first ever video of Cosi or even if one has all the other recordings of it.
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on 25 July 2011
I'm not one for "concept" operas such as Aida sung naked in a Glaswegian brothel or replacing hero-collecting Walkure for corpse-washing nurses. Call me an old fart but there is sufficient scope within the libretto of most works to be original and exploratory without using lobster-tanks, lasers and giant fruit.

This Glyndebourne production of Cosi Fan Tutte is opera as it should be. Dramatically and musically engaging, tasteful and delightful from beginning to end. The director fleshes out the characters, storyline, philosophy, love and comedy with finesse. The orchestra and singers perform superbly. I'm sure da Ponte and Mozart would approve.
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on 27 February 2016
Absolutely wonderful production, though I disapprove absolutely of the barrage that the poor girls are subjected to. Every time we get towards the end of Act 1 I am boiling! What is anyone to do when faced with the choice of restoring a person to life? The three men and Despina should have ended up head down in a tub of the richest farmyard compost!
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on 15 June 2015
Gorgeous. Just as Cosi should be, great production, superb singers, and wonderful music wonderfully played. Buy this DVD.
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on 17 March 2015
The magic of Mozart at his best. Wonderfull acting with believable characters. Brilliant.
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on 7 July 2009
Thank You Opus Arte for giving us Blu Ray access to this masterpiece! As usual, Glyndebourne productions never let you down. Here you can enjoy Mozart at his very best!
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