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Musical notes

Samuel West's Così Fan Tutte; Saraste conducting the BBC symphony

By Stephen Everson   November 2003

Così at the Barbican ENO started its exile at the Barbican with a new and youthful modern-dress production of Così fan Tutte, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth and directed by Samuel West. Even with his theatrical background, West was brave to choose Così for his debut as an opera director. The 19th-century critic Eduard Hanslick thought it not viable for the stage, since audiences could no longer swallow “the extended blindness” of the two heroines, unable to recognise the lovers “that they have embraced but 15 minutes before.” He had a point. The challenge to the director, though, comes not from the…

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