Cosi Fan Tutte
Revival of the opera
The inaugural production of the new opera company, Opera 24, Benet set up with conductor/arranger John Jansson to reconceive large scale operas in more intimate surroundings in contemporary settings.
Exploring the theme suggested by the closing lines of the witty new text by Brian David - "life's a test, it's not a game" - the 'without decor' production was placed upon a grid with each scene beginning within a particular combination of squares as if the characters were themselves stuck in the games they found themselves playing. At various points in key arias, the grid would glow as the protagonist explored how to change the course of their various romantic destinies.
Staged in a tiny rehearsal period and with almost no budget - the production was brought forward by several months when the opportunity arose to open the Grimeborn Festival and give Opera 24 a platform - the final production met with uniformly enthusiastic near-capacity audiences and showcased the talents of a terrific company of singers, many of whom received individual praise across the span of reviews.
A concert staging based on this production will play in Southend in June 2014.