Cosi fan tutte

at Stowe Opera

In 2005, Robert Secret, MD of Stowe Opera, asked Yvonne to return as Artistic Director and she was now looking to make equal sense of the complex and, musically most beautiful piece COSI FAN TUTTE.

The cast consisted of the vocally, as well as dramatically strong singers Simone Sauphanor (Fiordiligi), Rebekah Coffey (Despina), Nicholas Ransley (Ferrando), Adrian Powter (Guglielmo), Simon Wilding (Don Alfonso) and Yvonne Fontane herself (Dorabella). With Robert Secret on the baton, the inspired stage and lighting designs of Ian McKillop, and the sensitive costume designs of Nicholas Boiselle, this promised to be another summer of working with a great team.

To Yvonne's mind, Cosi fan tutte is potentially a very one-sided study of human nature, claiming that the emotional arm of all women can be twisted if man only perseveres long enough.

However, in this instance the two men in question, Guglielmo and Ferrando, have to go into the realm of great pretence and lies in order to make the point of their bet and win it. And the two prove to be formidable experts in these non-virtues: "Cosi fan Tutte" when it comes to men as well?

What good is any information acquired under false pretences? And at what cost does one now own this knowledge?

In the opera, the men's competitive streak, their male ego and pride drives them to losing their bet to Don Alfonso, the stirrer of their egos. The fact that they succeed in breaking the women's resolve can make neither them nor the women feel very good. Surely, after such escapades as described by Lorenzo da Ponte, librettist of Cosi, the ending will have to be a far cry from the seemingly shallow and frivolous opening of the plot.

"Above all, Stowe is unafraid to play things straight... Fontane kept things intelligently straightforward and allowed Da Ponte's subtle homily to speak for itself... The ensuing crisp changes between the "wrong" couples, plus the set-to between Fiordiligi and Ferrando were beautifully carried off."

"Simon Wilding's Don Alfonso appeared hypermanic, but his isolation near the close, and the contrast between one couple's reconciliation and the other's continuing estrangement, were well-considered touches."
(OPERA) Stowe Opera 2005

 

Latest News

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LONDON FESTIVAL OPERA

In 2016, Yvonne will continue to enjoy her many engagements as leading mezzo soprano with London Festival Opera to venues including in Germany, Italy, Malta and the UK.

Nova Scotia Symphony Orchstra

On February 12 and 13/2016, Yvonne will be singing in Halifax, Canada with the Nova Scotia Symphony Orchestra. The venues are the Halifax World Trade Centre and the Dalhouse Arts Centre.

PRODUCER of the ART SHOW "STEINKLANG"

On April 7 and 8/2016 Yvonne is producing and partaking in "STEINKLANG", a multi-media production that combines Yvonne's own composed music and songs with the art of wood and stone sculptures. Venue: Tenne Hub in Penzberg, Bavaria.

Latest Reviews

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CARMEN @ WHO Carmen and Stage Director

"Fontane, a cultivated singer, vocalised with plenty of curdling chest-notes and a kind of untrammelled physical ardour...There was loads of atmosphere...The action was full of nuanced human relations, the principals a group of predatory animals circling with wary blood-lust, acutely alive to the possibility of prey..." (OPERA NOW)

AIDA Amneris in Germany

"Yvonne Fontane sings and acts Amneris as the ice-cold schemer and desperate lover. Highly musical and with a dark glowing mezzo never veering in intonation during her jealous outbreaks, she is deeply moving in the judgement scene." (Gut Immling Festival, BAYRISCHER RUNDFUNK KLASSIK)

THE BRIDE OF DIONYSUS Pheadra

"Yvonne Fontane has a silvery pure voice, strong on clarity of diction yet imbued with humanity and with the ability to act with the voice." (CD of 'THE BRIDE OF DIONYSUS' Pheadra with the BBC Ulster Orchestra, Dutton Epoch, www.musicweb-international.com)

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO Stowe Opera La Contessa and Stage Director

"Her production of LE NOZZE DI FIGARO was just about faultless, too, perceptive, funny, sweet, touching, her Countess dramatically many layered and fitting comfortably in the voice."(OPERA NOW) "Figaro was a beautifully precise, profound piece of work" (OPERA NOW)