Così  fan tutte, Mozart’s third and final opera with his greatest librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, is often played as a colourful, light-hearted farce despite its uncomfortable sexual politics. But in his new production for Opera Australia, Sir David McVicar takes full account of both the sexual politics and the ambiguous ending to give a poignant reading that embraces gentle humour and true love as well as aching loss and sadness.

The production, which had its world premiere at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday, completes McVicar’s Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy for OA. Following his pitch-black Don Giovannistaged on a monumental Gothic set and his elegant The Marriage of Figaroset in the 1640s with liveried servants forever eavesdropping at closed doors, McVicar’s Così is another intelligent, insightful production.

David Portillo, Anna Dowsley, Nicole Car, Andrew Jones, Richard Anderson and Taryn Fiebig

From 1990, Opera Australia was well served for over a decade by a trilogy from Swedish director Göran Järvefelt and German designer Carl Friedrich Oberle. Set during the Age of Enlightenment, it featured a simple staging inspired by a beautiful Baroque theatre discovered in Sweden. Though Järvefelt died in November...