Opera Cosi fan Tutte Romances Mason’s Valentine’s Day Weekend

Posted: February 14, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Spend Valentine’s Day weekend learning about love as the Music Department presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera, Cosi fan Tutte. Students in George Mason’s opera program present this fully staged opera at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow in Harris Theatre.

Cosi fan Tutte

Frederick Jackson and Meghan McCall

A story not only of love but the trials of love, the opera tells the tale of a seductive wager in which “true love” is put to the test. The audience is introduced to a small, intimate cast of six characters with wildly different ways of thinking about the tricky terrain of love: the worldly Don Alfonso and Despina, the innocent and romantically naïve sisters, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, and their dashing–but also naïve–suitors, Guglielmo and Ferrando. The audience becomes captivated by the awkward situations these lovers find themselves in as they plot to find out if, indeed, love is fickle.

The production is the centerpiece of this year’s opera program at George Mason. It is staged by Rick Davis, associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and artistic director of the Center for the Arts, and conducted by James Gardner, Music Department chair, with musical preparation by Katerina Souverova.

“It’s such a pleasure to work with such talented and energetic students in this art form,” says Davis, who has directed for a number of professional opera companies in addition to his productions at George Mason. “They have been so eager to learn and excel, and have spent an enormous amount of time both in and out of rehearsals to prepare for the performance. I am inspired by their level of commitment.”

Cosi fan Tutte

From left to right: Courtney Ross, Alexis Haller, and Meghan McCall perform in Cosi fan Tutte

To help prepare for their roles, students also received training from noted opera coach Michael Crabill focusing on language and diction, as well as the musical score. The opera highlights the talent of the students and the work they have accomplished both in the classroom and in rehearsal. “Opera is a team effort,” Davis says, “and it takes a big and dedicated group of individuals to make it happen.”

The cast includes Meghan Whittier as Fiordiligi, Alexis Haller as Dorabella, Courtney Ross as Despina, Rafealito Ross as Ferrando, Frederick Jackson as Guglielmo, and Eduardo Castro as Don Alfonso.

Tickets for Cosi fan Tutte are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the Center for the Arts Box Office or by calling tickets.com at (703) 218-6500. For more information call the Department of Music at (703) 993-1380.

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