CULTURE

Spirited opera in Thessaloniki

A contemporary take on a 216-year-old masterpiece is what Thessaloniki audiences are enjoying at the city’s Concert Hall these days, as Mozart’s «Cosi fan Tutte» premiered last week. (Additional performances will take place this Wednesday and Saturday.) The farce, which set late 18th century, conservative Austrian society on fire – Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto was deemed as being degrading toward women – still holds a unique position in the world of music with its sense of humor, sharpness and passion. Part of a trilogy which included «Le Nozze di Figaro» and «Don Giovanni» (it was presented at the Arena di Verona), the Thessaloniki project is a joint production of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, the Arena di Verona Organization, the Union of Reggio Emilia Theaters and the Thessaloniki Municipality. «I consider the trilogy as a theater of thought, not unlike that of Shakespeare, with Mozart acting as the troupe’s manager,» said Caroline Lang, who transferred Daniele Abbado’s direction to the stage, at a recent press conference. «I chose the contemporary approach because I was looking to go behind the music and the libretto,» she noted. In the Thessaloniki Concert Hall’s version of «Cosi fan Tutte,» the Thessaloniki Municipal Symphony Orchestra comes under the baton of Nikos Athinaios, while the Thessaloniki Choir is conducted by Mary Constantinidou. The production’s sets, costumes and lighting were developed by Gianni Carluccio. The cast is led by Beatrix Fodor (Fiordiligi), Mary Ellen Nezi (Dorabella), Kiros Pitsalidis (Guglielmo), Stefano Ferrari (Ferrando), Theodora Baka (Despina) and Yiannis Yianissis (Don Alfonso). Thessaloniki Concert Hall, 25th Martiou & Paralia, tel 2310.895.800.