Fiordiligi and Dorabella enter the lobby of a design hotel after a day of high-end shopping. Guglielmo and Ferrando are in jeans and leather jackets. So begins young Italian opera director Damiano Michieletto's vision for Mozart's Così fan tutte at Venice's Teatro la Fenice, which opened on February 16.
Set in a luxury design hotel modeled from the 70s, Corriere della Sera affectionaltly called it kitschy. We guess that Michieletto's noticed in the past couple years, Milan's elegant old guard -- like the Principe di Savoia and the Grand Hotel et de Milan -- has been crowded by the expanding empires of Italian designers who've opened design hotels: Armani, Bulgari & Moschino.
Corriere praised an "impeccable cast" for opening night: Antonello Manacorda on the podium, Maria Bengtsson as Fiordiligi, Josè Maria Lo Monaco as Dorabella, Markus Werba as Guglielmo, Marlin Miller as Ferrando, Caterina Di Tonno as Despina and Andrea Concetti as Don Alfonso.
Apparently this happens during the opera. Yes, that's what you think it is.