Belmont’s Troutt Theatre may not scream operatic gala to some. But it’s hard not to associate Belmont and opera when the stage is precisely set and the voices of the actors ring out iin beautiful music.
Cosi fan tutte, written by Lorenzo da Ponte and musically arranged by Wolfgang Mozart, tells a story about two men who are dearly devoted to their lovers, Fiordiligi and Dorabella. As they go on and on about their lovers—how they are beautiful and charming, pure and loyal, Don Alfonso, an old philosopher, proposes a bet that if the men were away, the women would turn from their loyalty on Guglielmo and Ferrando and profess their love and devotion to other men.
Thinking he is proposterous, Guglielmo and Ferrando accept the bribe. They tell their lovers they are going to leave for the warfront. There is a great deal of protest and tears from the women but the song of the soldiers silences them. The men don’t truly go to war but disguise themselves as other men, pretending to seduce the women.
Though the women are set on not falling for the men, through constant flattery and comedic confessions of love, the men seduce the women into marrying them. Guglielmo and Ferrando are disheartened by the women’s actions but Don Alfonso assures them all will work out.
During the ceremony, the soldiers come back as soon as the women sign the “marriage licenses”. The men reveal their true identities and are cross with the women for ever thinking of potentially being disloyal. Don Alfonso urges them to take the good with the bad and through forgiving song, all turns well.
The star of the show was by far Ben Schultz, Don Alfonso. From the moment he stepped on stage to the moment of his bow, he was in full character. He produced an air of wisdom, trickery, and importance Don Alfonso should have. Natalie Lassinger, Fiordiligi, and Adam Richardson, Guglielmo, were also stars. Lassinger’s voice ressonated through the entire theatre, capturing the heart of the audience with her angelic soprano voice. Richardson was the star of comedy. His facial expressions and body language was goofy and fun to watch. The audience laughed heartily at his different mannerisms.
Ben Petty, Ferrando, and Rebecca Boucher, Dorabella, were the weakest of the cast. Petty was funny but was outshone by Richardson. You get laughs, you lose laughs. Such is the way of the comedic career. Boucher just seemed too concerned with singing than with the art of acting. Her face remained in the worried or fained furious look. I waited for her to wake up and become a great opera singer AND actress. I was sadly disappointed.
If you go to see Cosi fan tutte, be sure to enjoy an excellent performance. It’s a colorful affair and a feast for the eyes. Oh, and you are guarenteed to laugh your fanny off.
Cosi fan tutte runs until Sunday, November 15. Tickets are $10 for the public, $5 for senior citizens. The show is free for Belmont students, faculty and staff.