'Cosi fan Tutte' leaves many laughing

Tyler Stauffer photo: Andrea Baker, Kathleen Reveille and Liz Zurasky perform a scene in Cosi fan Tutte.Tyler Stauffer photo: Andrea Baker, Kathleen Reveille and Liz Zurasky perform a scene in Cosi fan Tutte.The music department’s production of the famous Mozart opera “Cosi fan Tutte” this weekend at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center successfully showcased the prodigious talents of the singers studying at Mercyhurst.

While tackling one of the more challenging operas in classical repertoire, the singers pulled off this performance with professionalism, beautiful vocalizations and a healthy splash of humor.

The sets for the opera were stunning, and the costuming was beautiful and effectively captured the character of the time period.

“I absolutely loved the show,” said junior Katie Wagner.
“The costumes and the sets were gorgeous, and everyone did a wonderful job. I was very impressed.”

The opera also featured an excellent performance by the Mercyhurst student orchestra conducted by Scott Tomlison, Ph.D.

The singing by the performers was beautifully executed with clear, pure tones that made for a wonderful listening experience.

Although at times it was difficult to hear what words they were saying, the synopsis in the program, along with the acting and contextual clues, made the story easy to follow.

Much of the humor in the opera came from the antics of Ferrando and Guglielmo, the two officers who disguise themselves as Albanians in order to test their lovers’ faithfulness.

While masquerading, the two singers’ slapstick behavior kept the energy light and the audience entertained.

The scene in which the disguised officers pretend to poison themselves because the ladies spurn their advances was particularly amusing.

The maid Despina, who aids in the trickery, likewise had several funny moments and musical one-liners.

Along with Don Alfonso, her sneaky deeds and masquerading as both a doctor and a judge moved much of the action of the story.

The rendition of “Cosi fan Tutte” that the Mercyhurst singers produced was especially accessible to the audience because it was sung in English rather than the more traditional Italian.

“This was the first opera I had ever seen, and so I was scared that I wouldn’t really understand it, but I actually really enjoyed the performance,” said junior Nikki Zeak.

The production was also triple cast, so each performance was slightly different and therefore afforded the audience a new experience within the same construct.

“It was interesting to see how each cast brought something different to the table, as each singer’s interpretation was different,” said senior Christine Wilbur, who worked on the technical crew for the shows.