Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Women Are Like That at The Skylight

The Skylight Opera Theatre presents Mozart’s classic comic opera COSI FAN TUTTE

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Mozart was only 34 when his comic opera Cosi Fan Tutte debuted. It was January of 1790. He would die in December of the following year. Over 200 years later, The Skylight Opera Theatre brings it to the stage of the Broadway Theatre Center in a new translation by Dimitri Toscas.

Toscas, who had previously worked with the Skylight on La Triviata has also done extensive work in California. Filmmaker/TV producer Garry Marshall produced a series of works crafted by Toscas for the Family Theatre in Burbank. He’d done some script work on the animated film Igor a few years back. He’s done work on a film called Playboy potentially due out this year some time. He’s also done freelance work for Aardman Feature Animation (the studio responsible for the popular Wallace And Gromit series.)

The visual style of the production brings the story of Cosi Fan Tutte 200 years forward into the present day, which should be an interesting trip visually. (A rough translation of the title is evidently “women are like that.”) One thinks Mozart and imagines all the trappings of late 18th century Europe. Giving the story a contemporary feel should lend it an interesting angle.

The story plays on universals that should allow it a fairly safe trip forward in time. A man makes a bet with a pair of military officers that their wives would not be faithful. The two men pretend to be called away to war and secretly sneak back in disguise to try to seduce each other’s wives. Comedy ensues. With Skylight’s standard for excellent production value, this should be a fun modern mutation of an old classic.

The Skylight Opera Theatre’s Cosi Fan Tutte runs March 18th – April 3rd at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre. Call 414-291-7800 for reservations.

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