Cosi Fan Tutte is an opera buffa (comic opera) by the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The full title is "Cosi fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti" (Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers). It concerns the comic mischief that ensues when a man bets two military officers that he can prove that their fiancees are fickle in love. The plot to prove this point involves bribes, disguises, and some severely bruised egos. Cosi Fan Tutte received its premiere on January 26, 1790 at the Burgtheater in Vienna, Austria, after which it was performed fairly infrequently until its British debut in 1811 at London's King's Theatre and its United States debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1922. Get your Cosi Fan Tutte tickets immediately to see this amusing tale set to Mozart's masterful score.Plot Synopsis:
Act I: The setting is 18th-century Naples. In a coffeehouse, military officers Ferrando and Guglielmo are conversing about their fiancees, the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, respectively, and asserting their belief that they are faithfully devoted to them. Don Alfonso joins the pair and makes a bet that he can prove that their lovers are fickle, as he believes all women are. The two take him up on the wager and agree to pretend to be called off to war, planning to return donning disguises to try to seduce each other's lover shortly thereafter. Elsewhere, the women in question are jointly praising their men when Alfonso arrives to tell them they have been called to war. Ferrando and Guglielmo feign bitter farewells and their lovers grieve their departure.
At the sisters' home, the maid, Despina, comforts them and advises them to occupy themselves with new lovers. Alfonso enters and bribes Despina into going along with his game so that she doesn't blow his chances of winning the bet. Ferrando and Guglielmo enter, dressed as mustachioed Albanians, and are met with surprise by the sisters. The men try to woo the alarmed ladies, but they resist the "strangers'" advances. Later, in the garden, Despina asks to try her hand at the seduction plot. On her order, the "Albanians" charge in, saying they will drink poison if they can't see the sisters again. Alfonso convincingly tries to console them, but they drink the poison and fall to the ground. Despina, disguised as a doctor, enters and cures the men, who, in a state of delirium, entreat the ladies for a kiss. Despite urging from Alfonso and Despina, they remain steadfast and refuse.
Act II: In their bedroom, Dorabella admits to Fiordiligi that she feels some temptation, and the two agree that there would be little harm in engaging their new suitors in a little innocent flirtation while their fiancees are away. Fiordiligi leaves with Ferrando and Dorabella meets up with the disguised Guglielmo, who does not encounter much resistance in his wooing efforts. When he gives her a heart-shaped locket, she returns the favor with her medallion containing Ferrando's portrait. When he is unable to woo Fiordiligi and he finds out that Dorabella has succumbed so easily, Ferrando is outraged. Guglielmo is sympathetic, but gloats of his romantic powers.
Later, Dorabella confesses her indiscretion to her sister. Suddenly overcome with guilt, Fiordiligi vows to go to the army and find her fiancee. But she is intercepted by the disguised Ferrando and eventually gives in to his advances. The roles are now reversed as Guglielmo is upset and Ferrando gloats. Alfonso, pleased at winning the wager, urges the men to forgive their lovers because they only act in according to their feminine nature.
At a double wedding for the sisters and their newfound lovers, Despina, disguised as a notary, presents the marriage contract, and all four sign it. Suddenly, military music plays in the distance, and the sisters panic when Alfonso confirms that Ferrando and Guglielmo are en route. The "Albanians" rush off to "hide" (in reality, they are changing back into their normal clothes), and return as their true selves, appearing overjoyed to see their beloved Dorabella and Fiordiligi again. When the men stumble upon the marriage contract, they explode with anger and storm off, only to return half-costumed as their Albanian alter-egos. Despina reveals herself and the sisters realize that they have been tricked. They are forgiven as Alfonso impresses the point he has striven to prove through the wager, about the nature of women and relationships, and bids each learn their lesson.Run Time: Approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes Advisory: Due to length and format, recommended for teens and older. Creative Team: Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Italian Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte