Met broadcast comically tells of love and faithfulness — or a lack of it

April 25, 2014 

Rodion Pogossov, as Guglielmo, and Isabel Leonard, as Dorabella, perform last year in a Metropolitan Opera production of Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte.”

MARTY SOHL — Metropolitan Opera

Faithless lovers are often the stuff of tragedies, but just as often they provide the material for comedy. There are few specimens of the perfidy storyline better handled than Mozart’s opera “Cosi fan tutte” (“So Do They All”), the HD broadcast of which will be at the Douglass Theatre on Saturday.

With the legendary James Levine leading the Metropolitan Opera’s orchestra, this is said to be an exciting and exuberant production. Levine, suffering from both injuries and health problems, was away from the podium for two years. Although his return includes a wheelchair and a motorized platform, a video clip on the Met’s website suggests that his vigor is unabated.

Set in Naples, Italy, the plot of this comedy about women’s constancy -- or the lack of it -- involves two young army officers, Fernando (sung by Matthew Polenzani) and Guglielmo (Rodion Pogossov), who argue with their cynical friend Don Alfonso (Maurizio Muraro) about the ability of women to be faithful, and cite their own lovers as paragons of virtue.

The upshot is that a wager is made to the effect that the young officers will pretend to be called away to war, and thus put the fidelity of Fiordiligi (Sussana Phillips) and Dorabella (Isabel Leonard) to the test.

The young officers, in disguise, return and each woos the other’s ladylove. The undoing of the sisters is expedited by their maid Despino (Danielle de Niese), who harbors something of a “love the one you’re with” philosophy and is enlisted to aid in the deception.

This being a prime specimen of the opera buffa genre, we know that all will end well, but not without numerous complications.

One thing is certain: this three-hour-plus broadcast is certain to be a lot of fun. Even more importantly, perhaps, long-time fans of the Met will rejoice at the sight of Levine once again wielding the baton.

“Cosi Fan Tutte”

When: 12:55 p.m. April 26

Where: Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Cost: $24 adults, $20 seniors

Information: www.metopera.org/hdlive; 478-742-2000

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