Love as a social experiment: Mozart's last collaboration with the lyricist Lorenzo da Ponte is a bitter chamber play about the power of seduction and the misunderstanding that is commonly called loyalty.
Two men believe they can build on their wives' feelings - and are bitterly disappointed. What begins as cheerful carnival fun ends tragically, because the cynical punch line is: Anyone who puts the test to the test can only be disappointed, because everyone can be seduced. With this knowledge, the characters cannot return to the innocence with which they began; they will have to go on living in the disillusionment that love is a construct and loyalty a flexible term.
Director Martin G. Berger, who is celebrated in cities like Basel or Dresden and whose career began in Hanover, has sharpened the dissecting knife and applies it to the ideas of love of our time. The contest of vanities in a self-mirroring society plays a role in the struggle between sincerity and libido. Da Ponte's thought game gets the decisive flavor from Mozart's apparently impartial music: the unearthly beauty of his ensembles does not seem to want to have anything to do with the funk. The opera also asks the question of the authenticity of our deeply felt feelings: If my lie sounds so sweet, isn't it automatically a little real?
The young Italian conductor Michele Spotti at the podium of the Lower Saxony State Orchestra gives Mozart's elegant score Italian verve, the line-up of young singers makes easy pleasure and deadly seriousness tangible.