Così fan tutte
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
February 28, 2015
- Park Avenue United Methodist Church
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I was very fond of Robert Mellon's incarnation of the scheming Don Alfonso, though at times it seemed like he was straining his voice a bit. The brutality of his bass-baritone that reverberated forcefully in this little space on the third floor of the church on East 86th Street lent his Don Alfonso an air of the embittered older man who has a bone to pick not only with the opposite sex but also with the young and naive. He’s out to teach everybody a lesson, if not to simply bring everybody around him down into his level. He has suffered heartbreak, potentially, and so others should too. Mellon’s performance did not necessarily imbue his character with much of a backstory per se, but rather he embodied Don Alfonso’s foibles with a masculine wrath and rage, almost like an Old Testament God pulling the strings of his latest human subjects. Mellon's Don Alfonso was the charismatic glue of the evening. Anytime he was on stage, he keep the pace of the story humming right along, never compromising the fun even of the recitatives even once, with his fully articulated Italian pronunciation. He was like an old pro up there.
A promising debut for this opera company founded in September 2014 that showed it has the right ideas to prove wrong the haters who say opera is dying and stuffy – we greatly anticipate their next outing with Elisir d’Amore this summer.