Earlier posts have reported on the rapidly developing career of mezzo Anna Dowsley, one of the Choir’s favourite soloists, since being highly commended by the judges in the 2012 Joan Carden Award and starring in our memorable Verdi Requiem in 2013 and, most recently in our outstanding von Suppé Requiem in May this year.
Anna is currently performing with distinction in the role of Dorabella in Opera Australia’s (OA’s)current production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, the third opera in the trilogy of masterpieces composed by Mozart to libretti by the great Lorenzo da Ponte (the others are Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni). Your correspondent has attended a production and can confirm that Anna gave a classy performance in what is a classy production by the celebrated English director, Sir David McVicar.
Reviews for the production and for Anna have been warmly favorable. Jo Litson, in Limelight magazine, wrote that “Anna Dowsley confirms her promise with another lovely comic performance, her silvery mezzo-soprano well suited to the role.” Peter McCallum in the Sydney Morning Herald, observed that Anna’s voice matches “the manic intensity and exaggerated passion of her character and she cuts through ensembles with thrilling definition” (Your correspondent is reluctant to differ with Professor McCallum but would offer the humble opinion that Anna’s acting on this occasion is the most balanced and convincing of her short OA career).
Anna’s performance is especially meritorious in that her character, Dorabella, is the confidante of and foil for Fiordiligi, played in this production by soprano, Nicole Car, the hottest name in opera in Australia at the moment. They made a brilliant pair and both of them received warm ovations from the audience. (There was also some lovely singing from tenor, Jonathan Abernethy, who was an OA Young Artist with Anna in 2014).
Anna’s performance in Cosi, as in earlier OA productions, indicates that she is completely in love with life on the opera stage, an impression confirmed by an ABC Radio interview she gave during an interval of a live broadcast of the production on Saturday, 30 July. With charming, unaffected enthusiasm, she conveyed a sense of passion for and delight in her new life.
It is great to see “our Anna” so obviously in her element and achieving such success on the big stage. This outstanding production can be whole-heartedly recommended to anyone looking for a rewarding evening at the opera.