Opera Holland Park
Oliver Platt’s production shows us the scale of the disaster wreaked by Don Alfonso in his attempt to teach his young friends Ferrando and Guglielmo some hard emotional truths (at least as he sees them). The notoriously tricky ending is as convincing as any…
And yet Platt has not lost his sense of humour, as some directors do with this piece; the laughter might be wry, but it’s there in all the right places…the show’s nuanced intelligence serving the piece well.
George Hall The Stage
The production is deft and the personal interactions and dilemmas are clearly charted especially in the gorgeous period costumes and disguises…The lovers certainly learn anger in the surprisingly bitter finale, where the pairings of the couples stay unresolved…
John Johnson Bachtrack
In Alyson Cummins’s design, this picturesque loveliness sets a sort of trap. There are serpents gliding through this Mediterranean garden. Step by step, trick by trick, the tone darkens, both emotionally and (as night falls over Holland Park and candles illuminate the boudoirs and gardens of Naples) physically as well.
Boyd Tonkin The Arts Desk
Platt presents the inter-relational dynamics as something far more fluid, helping build up a convincing and credible tension between the two men, the two women, and the various pairing options…
Platt’s direction has other appealing facets. We first meet the officers seemingly preparing for some sort of carnival event, with elaborate costumes being tried and measured. Other nice touches include Fiordiligi’s standing on a chair for the start of ‘Come scoglio’ where she doesn’t seem quite as firm in her resolve as the text might imply. Similarly, he deftly brings out Guglielmo’s withering commentary about the girls as the pseudo-wedding festivities begin. In this age of pared-down presentations of this opera it is refreshing to encounter a staging where the chorus is integrated so well…Platt succeeds in presenting a remarkably cogent and bittersweet quality that certainly engages the senses. Once again OHP presents an intelligent, thought-provoking Mozart staging.
Alexander Campbell Classical Source
MusicOMH, Cultural Whisper