Conductor Jonathan Darlington, currently performing Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the famous Sydney Opera House, has received tremendous praise from the Australian press. The Opera Australia production premiered on July 19 and continues through to August 13, and features tenor David Portillo in his Australian debut as the passionate Ferrando.
“Operatic seduction, of course, requires irresistible vocal beauty, which this superbly balanced cast provides in abundance… Tenor David Portillo as Ferrando has that golden clarity of sound without force, giving delicious edge to his mock-heroic love music towards Fiordiligi in Act II… Conductor Jonathan Darlington began with assertive briskness, the early scenes pushing forward. He created exhilarating bursts of anarchic energy in the sextet that closes Act 1 and the orchestra part had cohesive balance and some fine woodwind solos.”
In his five-star review for Time Out Magazine, Jason Catlet writes: “Of course the music must also be well played, which is certainly was on opening night, superbly paced and coordinated by expat Brit Jonathan Darlington.”
“With Jonathan Darlington conducting the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, this is a richly rewarding production musically and dramatically, which charms, provokes and surprises, sending you home feeling unexpectedly moved and pondering the vagaries of love.”
In his 4-star Bachtrack review Jeremy Eccles, who describes David Portillo’s Ferrando as “passionate”, said: “For not one whit of the music suffered on this mellifluous evening of beautifully balanced singing.”
Martin Portus’s 4.5 star review for the Daily Review praises Portillo’s “beautifully warm” voice before commending the entire production, stating: “With conductor Jonathan Darlington, McVicar and his team have forged a deliciously textured and moving synthesis of music and modern drama.”
A special live broadcast of Cosi fan tutte, courtesy of ABC Radio, can be streamed for a short period of time. Please click here to go to abc.net.au to listen to the live broadcast.