Court Gardens Farm

Orchard Lane Ditchling East Sussex BN6 8TH UK

Così fan tutte
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

June & October 2014

Pop-up were back in June 2014 with the more familiar Così fan Tutte, another sell out success, and with a cast of 6 there was even more scope for the performers to use all the space of the barn, up in the gallery amongst the audience and in and out of the hall. This time the caption writer went into overdrive with a barrage of clever lines, at the point the two boys turn up dressed in Bulgarian uniforms, the caption reads ‘Nigel Farage warned us about this’ and must be the loosest translation from the Italian you will come across.

The cast of Così fan tutte raise a toast with Court Garden!

A good friend of mine, himself an accomplished singer, wrote to say:
“What a splendid, splendid way to spend an evening. You obviously put a lot of hard work into preparing for and entertaining your guests and I have to say that the barn is an absolutely ideal size for such an intimate approach to performing opera. Così has I think one of the silliest, most unbelievable plots of the whole genre and the company relished its silliness and performed with panache and a real understanding of how to contrast all the different shades of music.”

“Many, many thanks for squeezing us in – the whole evening lifted us greatly. We look forward to becoming regular Court Garden opera goers!”

Whilst there is a serious side to the story and playing with human emotions is a dangerous game, the overwhelming atmosphere is a lot of fun.

The reviewer from the Brighton Argus observed
“… Mozart’s famous comedy on the fragility of love fits the bill well… Six young healthy voices did justice to the glories of Mozart’s score; the beauties of the music were not (often) sacrificed to the alter of accessibility. The production… was amusing and inventive… The cast worked superbly as a team but Chloe Hinton stood out with her singing as Dorabella.”

The company returned in October for a final performance of Così, it was their last of the season, so an end of term atmosphere pervaded the stage. There was, however, a small panic on the day. Clementine, the leading light in Pop-Up called to say that Fiordiligi had lost her voice, but was going to mime the role. Clementine was to sing the part herself from the wings. As it turned out the effect was perfect, Eve, who took the part in the summer, was of course very convincing at miming. This was a gift to the wag writing the captions. Although Dorabella has been won over by her new Albanian boyfriend, Fiordiligi is a harder nut to crack. Ferrando while singing to her with some frustration, the caption reads ‘It’s like singing to a blank wall, all you do is mime at me!’.