A light comedy with a ridiculous conceit where two guys, one blonde, one with brown hair, sweet talk their way in and out of outrageous situation? Nope, it's not The Internship but Cosi Fan Tutte at the SF Opera, which opened Sunday afternoon. The opera revived the 2005 production (last seen here), freshened up with a few new twists.
Conductor Nicola Luisotti brought a joyous verve from the orchestra, in a shallower pit than usual, to better bring out the sparkly sound of the Mozart-sized ensemble; they sprang brightly out of the gate and never let down. Rather than the usual harpsichord to accompany the recitatives, Luisotti had a small team of harpsichord indeed, but also pianoforte, theorbo, and cello, providing varied harmonic punctuation. They threw in a few the musical jokes and ad libs that Luisotti always enjoys and the opera should stage a game of identifying their musical quotes. Chopin piano sonata? Check. Bach partita? Check. So instead of dull and predictable recitatives, they're full of verve and invention.