Past Productions Archive: Così fan Tutte at the Birgitta Festival
Black Cat Opera were delighted and privileged to be invited to perform Keiko Sumida's production of Così fan tutte at the 2016 Birgitta Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. The festival is an extraordinary event held annually in the ruins of St Birgitta's Convent, just outside the Estonian capital. The temporary theatre erected inside the striking convent building seats over 1200 people, and played host in 2016 to international performers including the Belarus State Opera, Yekaterinburg State Opera (Russia), and the Antonio Andrade Flamenco Company (Spain).
Black Cat Opera's Così was itself an international collaboration, with Keiko Sumida's original production being redesigned for the much larger space by Estonian scenographer Lilja Blumenfeld, and our original cast being accompanied by the acclaimed Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
Fiordiligi: Aoife O'Connell
Dorabella: Claire Filer
Guglielmo: Matthew Palmer
Ferrando: James Savage-Hanford
Despina: Clare Treacey
Don Alfonso: Gheorghe Palcu
Musical Director: Peter Ford
Director: Keiko Sumida
Scenographer: Lilja Blumenfeld
Producer: Julia Reinman
Movement Director: Suzannah Hall
Lighting Designer: Samuel Miller
Costume Designer's Assistant: Margit Roosaar
Set Designer's Assistant: Jana Khanikova
Makeup Artist: Helga Aliis Saarlen
Video Artist: Alyona Movko
Stage Manager (on the book): Octavia Penes
Assistant Stage Manager: Joe Jenner
Courtesy of Heiti Kruusmaa/Birgitta Festival
Merilin Pärli for Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonian Public Broadcasting)
"On Saturday, the Birgitta Festival started with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's comic opera Così fan tutte, which was brought up-to-date in a production that was fresh and pleasant to hear and to see.
This year's Birgitta Festival, entitled "With love, Eri Klas", pays respects to the maestro who passed away this year, and whose final project was composing the programme of the festival.
The opening evening's opera "Cosi fan tutte" was performed by The Black Cat Opera Company from Great Britain. The production was directed by Keiko Sumida, with a design by Estonian theatre artist Lilja Blumenfeld, and performed with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Truly an international cooperation, and one which worked well.
The actors were believable in their roles, and were obviously enjoying the drama and music. Even some more difficult scenes were carried out just as well, for example, Fiordiligi (Aoife O'Connell) was required to lie down at one point, while still performing vocally demanding music at the top level. Claire Filer as Dorabella and Clare Treacey as the maid Despina particularly shone.
The performance was funny, and the masterful vocals enjoyable [...] I believe that Eri would have been satisfied."
Ekaterina Shapinskaya for OperaNews.ru
"In this production Mozart’s opera has kept its elegant musicality which was not suppressed by visual elements, and the credit goes to all members of Black Cat Opera, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and all the participants of this performance which was beautiful in all respects."