Hip-Hop Update of CosÐ fan tutte in the Works at Glyndebourne

Classic Arts News   Hip-Hop Update of CosÐ fan tutte in the Works at Glyndebourne
Glyndebourne, the U.K. country house opera, will present a hip-hop version of Mozart's CosÐ fan tutte next March, the London Times reports.

The "hip-hopera" relocates the story from 19th-century Naples to inner-city London. Although, according to the company, some of the opera will be left intact, street slang is being added to the libretto, and the music will be reworked to include electric drumbeat samples and "bass stabs." The opera's famous aria "Soave sia il vento" will be sung in rap.

Intermission, usually a black-tie picnic for the opera patrons, will feature graffiti artists and breakdancing.

The production is part of the general celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, and is also an attempt to reach a younger audience. To this end, tickets for the performance will be available for as little as Ô£5.

Hip-hop producer and creative consultant Charlie Parker said of the production, "We want to have the place jumping. Traditional British people have to start reexamining themselves and their culture in terms of addressing the new age."

Marcus Dawes, a hip-hop singer who will play Don Alfonso, here modified to MC Donnie, said that the production's goal was "cultural evolution, not culture shock," and added, "We are merging the past and the present."

Not everyone is thrilled by the news of the new work, which, according to the London Guardian, is tentatively named School4Lovers. Opera patron Rosemary Brann told the Times that she was "appalled," and said, "We are used to decent music at Glyndebourne so I cannot understand why they would want to be doing this. It seems an extraordinary idea and I cannot imagine it working in this context."

Glyndebourne's 2005 touring season features Tangier Tattoo, an "operatic thriller" aimed at younger audiences.

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