Town Hall Theater Screens Met Opera Live Broadcast of COSI FAN TUTTI Today

When conductor James Levine returned to the Metropolitan Opera last fall after a serious illness, he chose to return with Mozart's sparkling comedy, Così Fan Tutti. By all accounts, his return performance was the highlight of this or any other Met season.

"Over many years I have heard Mr. Levine give some remarkable accounts of Mozart operas," wrote Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times, "and I don't think I have ever heard a more vibrant, masterly and natural performance than this Così Fan Tutti."

Levine now conducts from a custom-built platform that lifts his wheelchair so he can be seen by the orchestra. It also does one other trick. At the curtain call, Levine slowly revolved to face the audience - and the thunderous ovation that clearly moved him. "He thought perhaps this day would never come," writes Tommasini.

A young cast performs brilliantly under Levin's baton. It includes Susanna Phillips, recently seen as Musetta in the Met broadcast of La Bohème, and Matthew Polenzi, who played Nemorino in last season's L'Elisir d'Amore.

Così Fan Tutti, is rarely given its English title because it is very difficult to translate. It can roughly be interpreted as "They're All Like That" - the "they" being women. The opera has a buoyant, glowing score, full of romantic arias, and madcap comedy sequences. Yet there's a dark strain running beneath the comedy. Can anyone truly be faithful to another? Is love indeed forever?

Così Fan Tutti will be broadcast live at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater today, April 26, at 1 pm. Tickets are $24/$10 students, and may be purchased at www.townhalltheater.org, 802-382-9222, at the THT Box Office (Mon-Sat, noon-5 pm) and at the door.

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