Così fan tutte
COSI FAN TUTTE: AN INSPIRING, THRILLING WORK
Meaning "all women are like that", Cosi fan tutti is a dramatic and engaging work by the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
In 18th century Naples, two men aim to test the fidelity of their respective fiancees. They decide to assume disguises and see if they can seduce their fiancees whilst pretending to be other men.
Ferrando and Gugliemo are officers in the navy. They praise the fidelity of their respective fiancees. Their friend Don Alfonso wagers that the two women are not so faithful after all. Don Alfonso comes up with a plan to test just how faithful the two women are. Don Alfonso instructs Ferrando and Gigliemo to pretend that they have been called away to fight in a battle. Then, he tells them to return disguised as Albanian men, and to each try and seduce the other's fiancee. Ferrando's fiancee Dorabella and Gugliemo's fiancee Fiordiligi are saddened as their fiances sail off to their pretended battle. The two women, who are also sisters, express their love for Ferrando and Gigliemo. Ferrando and Gigliemo return, disguised as Albanians and make straight for Dorabella and Fiordiligi. The two women do not recognise their fiances, and refuse to succumb to the 'Albanians'' seduction techniques. Still in disguise, Ferrando and Gigliemo pretend to drink poison, saying that they are so distressed at this rejection. Their accomplice, Despina, disguised as a doctor, pretends to revive them. The 'Albanians', reviving, pretend that they think Fiordiligi and Dorabella are divine goddesses who have saved them from death. They ask to kiss the two women, but are once more rejected.
Despina convinces Fiordiligi and Dorabella that they ought to give in to the 'Albanians'' flirtatious remarks, and seductive overtures. Eventually, the two women agree. After some resistance, both women fall into the arms of the 'Albanians'. Don Alfonso is delighted to have won the wager. Gugliemo and Ferrando are angry at first, but Don Alfonso persuades them to forgive their fiancees. After all, says Don Alfonso, 'all women are like this': 'Cosi fan tutti'. Dorabella and Fiordiligi agree to marry the 'Albanians', still unaware that these men are in fact their fiances in disguise. Half way through the wedding, the 'Albanians' retire, and remove their disguises. The brides are shocked to find out that the 'Albanians' are really their long lost Neapolitan fiances.
Unlike many other operas, Cosi fan tutti has just two acts. The opera ends with the group of lovers agreeing to forgive one another, and singing about how life involves both good and bad times.
Fiordiligi, a Lady of Naples, soprano
Dorabella, Fiordiligi's sister, soprano
Guglielmo, Fiordiligi's fiance and a naval officer, bass
Ferrando, Dorabella's fiance and a naval officer, tenor
Despina, a maid and accomplice to Gugliemo and Ferrando, soprano
Don Alfonso, an old philosopher and friend to Gugliemo and Ferrando, bass
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