Scan­dalous Mozart opera comes to the Globe

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

For the first time this cen­tury, a fully-staged opera will be per­formed at the Globe Theatre in Palmer­ston North on March 1.

Cosi fan Tutte is one of Mozart’s best-loved and most scan­dalous op­eras, a bat­tle of the sexes, in which two sis­ters, al­ready en­gaged, find their heads be­ing turned by a pair of in­trigu­ing for­eign gen­tle­men.

Wan­der­lust Opera is tak­ing ‘‘Cosi’’ on tour this sum­mer to five smaller cen­tres in the lower North Is­land, com­mu­ni­ties where au­di­ences have few op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pe­ri­ence opera with­out trav­el­ling a long dis­tance.

Wan­der­lust is the brain­child of so­prano Ge­or­gia Jamieson Emms, who’s from the small town of Feather­ston. Af­ter sev­eral years singing pro­fes­sion­ally in Ger­many, she re­turned home to start a fam­ily, and launched the pro­duc­tion com­pany last year.

Ge­or­gia says the word ‘‘wan­der­lust’’ is a nod to her years in Ger­many. ‘‘It refers to my pas­sion for travel and specif­i­cally my pas­sion from trav­el­ling with mu­sic,’’ she says.

Start­ing her own com­pany had been in the back of her mind for a long time. She was in­spired by what she saw in Europe from smaller com­pa­nies and theatre groups, artists cre­at­ing their own op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘‘I knew I had to do some­thing like that if I was go­ing to con­tin­u­ing per­form­ing,’’ Ge­or­gia says.

This par­tic­u­lar pro­duc­tion of ‘‘Cosi’’ was first seen in 2008 as part of the Dunedin Arts Fes­ti­val. For the 2016 tour, orig­i­nal cast mem­bers Emms (singing Fiordiligi) and Matthew Lan­dreth (as Don Al­fonso) re­turn, as well as award­win­ning di­rec­tor Jac­que­line Coats.

Imo­gen Thirl­wall (De­spina) and Stu­art Coats (Guglielmo), Jac­que­line’s brother, have been re­cruited from New Zealand Opera, and Cameron Bar­clay (Fer­rando) from the in­ter­na­tion­ally-ac­claimed sen­sa­tion The Ten Tenors had a gap in his tour­ing sched­ule.

Dora­bella, the more way­ward sis­ter, will be sung by Emms’ own sis­ter-in-law, Kiwi mezzo Brigitte Heuser who is based in Nor­way. It doesn’t hap­pen very of­ten that two sis­ters play two sis­ters in an opera. ‘‘It’s a treat to have Brigitte back in New Zealand and on the road with us,’’ says Emms.

Hold­ing the mu­si­cal reins is cel­e­brated pi­anist and vo­cal coach Bruce Green­field and the sets have been de­signed by Toi Whakaari de­sign tu­tor, Brian King. Re­hearsals be­gan last month in prepa­ra­tion for the five cen­tre tour.

With a sparkling new English trans­la­tion, this is a fun, fresh and ac­ces­si­ble show to sat­isfy opera lovers and en­tice new­com­ers. Wan­der­lust has started to wan­der again and Palmer­ston North is one of the cen­tres that will ben­e­fit from it.

Cosi fan Tutte will be pre­sented at The Globe on March 1 at 7.30pm. Book­ings be­tween 10-2pm at The Globe, phone 351-4409 or via The Globe web­site, www.glo­bethe­atre.co.nz

Ge­or­gia Jamieson Emms as Fiordiligi and Brigitte Heuser as Dora­bella in a scene from Mozart’s opera Cosi fan Tutte.

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