Published: March 13, 2015

cosi fan tutte

From left: Max Hosmer, Meagan Mahlberg, Rebecca Robinson and Frank Fainer in Così fan tutte. Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado.

By Kelly Dean Hansen | Daily Camera

Even in its most intimate and reserved moments, Mozart's Così fan tutte is by turns intense and hysterical. Its intricate plot, which might have become convoluted in lesser hands than those of Mozart and his librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, moves forward with such swiftness that at times the observer is left breathless.

It is astonishing then, when one realizes at the end that nearly three hours have passed. Nobody has ever accused Mozart's three Da Ponte operas of being short, but rarely has length been quite as heavenly as it is in the University of Colorado Eklund Opera Program's production at Macky Auditorium, which opens Friday night and continues Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. As usual with Eklund productions, Saturday's performance is a different cast from the ones on Friday and Sunday.

Conductor Nicholas Carthy, his tireless student musicians in the pit, and the extraordinary singer-actors onstage presented a feast for the eyes and the ears, radiant and gorgeous throughout, but also bold and brash.

Director Leigh Holman's updated setting of the 1790 work to the 1950s-'60s, reflected by costumer Tom Robbins at his best, is striking without being distracting. And Peter Dean Beck's opulent sets almost seem to strike a balance between the mid-20th century and Mozart's own era, especially the chambers of the two heroines, sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella.

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If you go

What: The University of Colorado Eklund Opera Program presents Mozart's Così fan tutte

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15

Where: Macky Auditorium, 285 University Ave., University of Colorado campus, Boulder

Tickets: $14-$38

Info: 303-492-8008 or