As Fiordiligi, the more resistant of the sisters, soprano Emalie Savoy (who sang the title role in last year's collaboration on Gluck's "Armide") grows in vocal and dramatic strength through the evening. The high point is her ravishing, wrenching account of the aria "Per pieta, ben mio," in which she asks for strength to remain faithful to her lover. Gilbert's sensitive pacing of the orchestral accompaniment here gives the scene the near-tragic grandeur it deserves.
Soprano Naomi O'Connell — the only soloist not from the Lindemann program — is a comic dynamo as Despina. And baritone Luthando Qave as Guglielmo stands out for the burnished beauty of his compact voice.
The others show promise as well: Tenor Alexander Lewis sings ardently as Ferrando, though he struggles a bit with the vocal line toward the end; mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta is a feisty Dorabella; and bass Evan Hughes a more-vulnerable-than-usual Alfonso (Wadsworth suggests he and Despina may have fallen in love by the end).
"Cosi" will be performed again this Saturday at 2 p.m. and again Monday at 8 p.m.