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This modern adaptation of the story transposes the action from Da Ponte's original 18th century libretto to a 21st century inner city sink estate, where Liam and Freddie are invited by the manager of their crew, Big Donnie, to test the fidelity of their girlfriends Gigi and Bella. Mozart's music rides the beats from the street. Da Ponte's verse becomes authentic rap. But Despina is still Despina, and her philosophy remains: "by the time a girl is fifteen, she should know the ropes".
The performance is aimed at young people of 14 years-old and above as it contains some strong language, deals with adult themes and has some sexual content.
Originally by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte
Idea and Concept : Markus Kosuch
Adaptation and Musical Arrangements : Jonathan Gill, Charlie Parker
Adaptation and Text : Stephen Plaice
Director : Claire Whistler
Designer and Lighting : Robin Carter
Conductor : Jonathan Gill
South Bank Sinfonia
Cast includes: Paradise (Donnie), Ville Salonen (Freddie), Jessica Walker (Gigi), Christine Gelder (Bella), Natasha Seale (Despina), Marvin Springer (Liam)
Première : Glyndebourne, 17 & 18 March 2006
'That this hip-hop reinvention of Mozart’s opera tapped into its
tenderness, violence, passion and despair more powerfully than almost any
Cosí I’ve seen was testimony to its success... this is one
of the slickest and sassiest musicals around... The notion of morphing Mozart
into the voice of an inner city prophet seemed risky in the extreme. But
it has worked. And the sheer virtuosity of those metamorphoses in the musical
arrangements of Charlie 'the Baptist' Parker and Jonathan Gill is striking,
sometimes breathtaking... the updated story has spawned a text from Stephen
Plaice that Mozart would have relished... This School for Lovers will be
a hard act to follow.'
Hilary Finch The Times
'The music promoter Donnie is played by the charismatic Paradise, who sets
up exactly the right buzz of expectation, as does Stephen Plaice's raunchy
vernacular libretto... The overwhelmingly teenage audience was not disappointed.
They loved the dance routines that periodically stopped the action, but
they also liked those moments when Mozart came through with unadulterated
clarity... This show will now go to Helsinki and Tallinn, but certainly
deserves a further life in Britain. My teenage neighbour liked the Mozart
bits, but she loved the club stuff best of all.'
Michael Church The Independent
'What made it was the sharp contemporary wit of Stephen Plaice’s
inner-city English text. I’ll never hear the duet for Dorabella and
Guglielmo the same again now I know how well it fits the words.'
Richard Fairman The Financial Times
'There are more good things to say about Glyndebourne's hip-hop version
of Mozart's Cosí Fan Tutte than I have space available... I loved
this West End-style production from the start. It was a hugely entertaining
evening and I wish I could have bought a DVD recording of it as I left...
Stephen Plaice's witty and sexually explicit English libretto engaged the
audience (a sea of young faces) throughout... the whole show was visually
stunning and Glyndebourne must bring it back to Britain later in the year.'
Mike Howard Brighton Evening Argus