PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Museum kicks off its new series of digital, high definition broadcasts of exceptional opera and ballet performances with Mozart’s Così fan tutte, as performed at London’s Royal Opera House, on Sunday, May 29 at 2, and again on Tuesday, May 31 at 7:30 pm.
This witty tale of deception and fiancé-swapping, paired with Mozart’s radiant score, has made audiences laugh and sigh for centuries. Director Jonathan Miller’s highly acclaimed production updates the 18th century to today — for while fashions and technology have changed since Mozart’s time, love is as complicated as ever.
Così fan tutte screens at Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema on Sunday, May 29 at 2pm and again on Tuesday, May 31 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25 each ($20 for museum members). The running time is 190 minutes, plus one intermission and is sung in Italian with English subtitles. Little Cinema shows independent films, plus opera and ballet performances, year-round. Berkshire Museum is located at 39 South Street (Rt. 7) in downtown Pittsfield. For more info, call 413.443.7171 or visit berkshiremuseum.org. Little Cinema is sponsored by Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.
“We’re already getting a great response to the expansion of our film offerings, and very excited to move into the next phase of the expansion of Little Cinema,” says Craig Langois, Berkshire Museum’s Education and Public Program Manager. “It will be great to inaugurate the opera and ballet series with a fine production from the Royal Opera House in London like Così fan tutte. This production opened the Royal Opera House’s season, and it seems a great fit to open our season as well.”
This great, edgy comedy fuses a classic score by Mozart with a witty story of deception and trust tested to its limit. Can two seemingly faithful couples have their affections altered by some apparently harmless deception? Director Jonathan Miller’s modern-dress adaptation of this gem was immediately declared “a classic” by The Times of London. Royal Opera favorite Thomas Allen returns in a strong cast of singers under acclaimed German conductor Thomas Hengelbrock. The title (roughly, “such is the way they are”) may suggest that it is the natural way of women to behave as they do in this story, but the men are hardly without blame. In this most sophisticated of operas with the most sublime of scores, no one escapes unscathed.
In Così fan tutte, Don Alfonso, a confirmed bachelor, makes a bet on women’s fidelity with Ferrando and Guglielmo, two engaged young military officers. If they agree to give him one day and do everything he asks, Alfonso will prove that their fiancées, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, are fickle and unfaithful. The women are told that their men have been ordered to the front line, and are encouraged by Despina, their chambermaid, to find new lovers. Despina introduces them to two Albanian men (Ferrando and Guglielmo in disguise) and the men proceed to passionately woo the other’s betrothed. At first the girls spurn their advances, but many twists and turns later, they fall for their new admirers and actually marry them. In the end, the girls realize they’ve been duped, but all is forgiven as the men and women alike accept the capriciousness of human nature.
Upcoming high definition, digital broadcasts of opera at Little Cinema include The Magic Flute (from Teatro alla Scala in Milan) on 6/12 at 2 p.m. and 6/14 at 7:30 p.m. and The Barber of Seville (from Teatro Regio di Parma in Parma, Italy) on 6/26 at 2 p.m. and 6/28 at 7:30 p.m.
Berkshire Museum is the first public museum in Berkshire County, established by Zenas Crane in 1903 as a museum of Art and Natural History. The Museum is located at 39 South Street on Route 7 in Downtown Pittsfield. Collectors’ Choice: Selections from the Jane and Jay Braus Collection opened May 21 and is on view through October 11. Roberto Juarez: Mural Paintings, 2000-2010 opens June 11 and is on view through September 25. Little Cinema opened May 20 and is open year-round. Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation, Aquarium & Touch Tank, Alexander Calder Gallery, and other exhibits are ongoing.