When the Austrian director Michael Haneke picked up his Oscar for “Amour” last year, he was all smiles. The acclaim for “Amour” offered classical music lovers something to smile about as well, since Haneke’s sensitive use of Schubert is essential in making the disturbing story about aging engrossing and moving.
Expectations run high for this conclusion of the orchestra's cycle of the three late Mozart comic operas with librettos by Lorenzo Da Ponte, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, directed by Christopher Alden and, this time, with sight-specific sets by Zaha Hadid and costumes by Hussein Chalayan.
Of all Mozart's operas, "Così" is the most ambiguous and thus most open to different interpretations. Whatever Alden and crew come up with will invariably be vastly dissimilar to Haneke's elegantly cinematic approach.
The set is one of those stunningly minimalist modern European interiors that he often enjoys using in his films. Most of the characters wear modern dress, but some are coated and bewigged in 1790 fashion from when the opera was written. The late 18th century was the start of the sexual revolution, and Haneke reveals just how little has changed when it comes to sexual politics.