'Cosi Fan Tutte,' directed by Michael Haneke, to debut Oscars eve

'Cosi Fan Tutte,' directed by Michael Haneke, to debut Oscars eve
Michael Haneke, the Oscar-nominated director of "Amour," is shown during a recent rehearsal of his production of Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte" in Madrid. (Javier Del Real / EPA)

The last week in February is always a hectic time of year for Academy Award nominees. But for Michael Haneke, the Austrian director up for multiple Oscars on Sunday for "Amour," the next several days are shaping up to be a perfect storm of red-carpet appearances.

The day before the Oscars are to be handed out in L.A., a new production of Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte," staged by Haneke, is to debut in Spain at the Teatro Real Madrid, which is led by Gerard Mortier.

The day before that, the Cesars, France's equivalent of the Oscars, are to be handed out in Paris, with "Amour" nominated in multiple categories.

The director is expected to attend the Oscar and Cesar ceremonies, but it's unclear whether he will be in Madrid for the premiere of "Cosi."

"Cosi Fan Tutte" has been on Haneke's radar for a number of years. He was first expected to direct it at New York City Opera, but those plans were scrapped after the company suffered a financial collapse.

The ensemble cast of "Cosi" includes English baritone William Shimell, who will play the role of Don Alfonso. Shimell has a small role in "Amour" as the husband of Isabelle Huppert's character. 

The opera's sets are by Christoph Kanter, who has worked as production designer on several Haneke movies, and the costumes are by Moidele Bickel, who worked with Haneke on his Oscar-nominated "The White Ribbon."


"Cosi" is a co-production between Madrid and La Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels.

Haneke directed a 2007 production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," which set the action in a modern-day office complex based on Paris' La Defense district. The production divided critics, but it has been revived.