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School 4 Lovers

School 4 Lovers logo

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

Press notices

'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

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