Saturday, 1st September 4pm and Sunday 2nd September 4pm
Stage director Marcio da Silva / Monika Saunders
Set/Costumes Marcio da Silva / Monika Saunders
Ferrando Oshri Segev
Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (So do they all, or The
School of Lovers) K. 588, is an Italian-language opera in two acts by
Mozart first performed on 26 January 1790 at the Burgtheater in
Vienna. This was the third opera that Mozart wrote to a libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte [previously Le nozze di Figaro (1786) and Don Giovanni (1787)]. The opera is the perfect ensemble work as it
has a cast of just six characters, with the six roles being almost equal in weight
Così has sometimes been described as Mozart’s most unpopular opera - not for musical reasons, but due to the controversy generated by the nature of the plot. The shortened title, Così fan tutte, uses the feminine plural for ‘all’ – tutte - to indicate ‘women’. It is often translated into English as ‘Women are like that’.
The story begins with a wily old cynic and experimental philosopher, Don Alfonso, who plots to overturn the perfect, stylised worlds of two young men, named Ferrando and Gugliemo, who boast about the fidelity of their lovers. He bets them that their respective fiancées would not remain faithful if they were put to the test, and the challenge is accepted. The fiancées (also sisters) Fiordiligi and Dorabella are led to believe that their lovers are leaving to ‘go to war’. With the aid of Despina, the maid, two handsome strangers (Ferrando and Gugliemo in disguise) are introduced to the girls and begin their mission of seduction. As the plot unfolds Don Alfonso throws increasingly extreme situations at all four lovers in order to challenge their emotional preconceptions, and Despina (who is party to the deception) acts as confidante to stir up trouble and maintain the complex interplay between the characters.