A few nites ago, Opera Chic, flipping through the channels, found on Classica la Ceci singing Fiordiligi, and that's usually a treat (no we r not Ceci-haterZ @ all, hails naw, deal wit it). But then, OC immediately started to tinker with her plasma's audio settings, thinking something must have been off since the orchestra sound came out incredibly tinny, empty, flat. And soooooooo mortally slow.
Then the director cut to the orchestra pit and there he was, Niki Harnoncourt, and we then knew the audio settings were OK, as in fact they were. Opera's favorite taxidermist had gutted Così the same way he gutted Nozze @ Salzburg two years ago, and we have to say Così, usually three hour something, lasted about nine hours. Or so it felt.
So how we pined for some seriously awesome Mozart, airy and light and witty and FAST and crystal-clear the way Mozart-DaPonte has got to be. Riccardo Muti's Mozart, for example.
The music of chance actually decreed that, as we were suffering through Harnoncourt's reading of the score, Muti in the flesh was showing off his Wiener in Wien conducting Così Fan Tutte (in De Simone's staging) with a cast that made us tingle in all the right places: la Frittoline as Fiordiligi, Angelika Kirchschlager as Dorabella, Ildebrando d'Arcangelo as Guglielmo and Francesco Meli (la Fittolina's boi) as Ferrando.
Yeah, Muti is showing Vienna how it's done these days, exercising the usual ownage of the audience with standing Os, moshing, celebratory rounds of AK-47s ammo being shot during curtain calls, riots outside of the sold-out venue, standing room tickets being exchanged for newborn babies on the blak market, you know the drill.
And we so wish we were there, getting insulin shocks one after another in the inevitable marathon of Sachertorte eating, crossing the street from our hotel to the Staatsoper to check out Muti, la Frittolina, Angie, Brando and the rest of the gang.
Interestingly, Muti is about to launch a spring offensive of concerts, operas, tour, parties, and so forth: just back from the States where he conducted the NYPhil, he is now in Vienna for Così, on March 8 he'll conduct his wonder kids of Orchestra Cherubini in Vienna for Don Pasquale (been there done that), in April he'll go on tour with the Wiener, and in May he'll introduce at the Whitsun Festival in Salzburg Paisiello's Il Matrimonio Inaspettato. On May 17 and 18, on to Florence to celebrate in two concerts the 40th anniversary of his debut with the Maggio Musicale orchestra.
Good to see that there's a lot of life outside of la Scala. It's always healthy to remember that.