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Così fan who-tte?

Così fan tutte is an opera buffa (comedic opera) and the third and final instalment in the Mozart – Da Ponte trilogy. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the music and his mate Lorenzo Da Ponte was the ‘libretti’ which means he was in charge of writing the words to go with the music.

(We know you’re curious so the other two operas in the trilogy are Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.)

And the storyline for this one?

Following the tale of four young lovers on holiday, the two young men – soldiers – are called away for service.

Enter the older Don Alonso who has a cold and dispassionate view of what love is thanks to a few emotional scars (relatable…).

He suggests to the men that the women are sure to take other lovers while they are away.

The men are offended but to test his theory, return in disguise to attempt to seduce each other’s partners.

Ooooh, entrapment!

Things do get pretty complicated between the four!

Così fan tutte questions the idea of romantic love in all its many guises. Is it an illusion or the source of all our happiness?

The title, which translates to ‘They (women) are all like that’, is just a launchpad to a far more nuanced exploration of the nature of desire and commitment.

Mozart’s compositions and Da Ponte’s libretti take the audience from the ridiculous to the sublime, from the farcical comedy space to a reflective, fragile space as the audience is invited to question the psychology and complexity of what it means to commit long-term to another person.

When was this opera first performed?

Cosi Fan Tutte was first performed in 1790 but the story can easily be interpreted to explore present-day questions that come up in relationships.

Originally set in the Italian coastal city of Naples, this production by Opera Queensland emulates a 21st Century seaside resort in Italy where the young lovers are holidaying.

So, expect glamorous and flamboyant resort wear for our stars from set and costume designer Elizabeth Gadsby!

Who else is involved?

The amazing Greek Maestra Zoe Zeniodi returns to Brisbane to lead the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the cast of six and an ensemble of eight in the production which will be directed by Opera Queensland CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan.

Samantha Clarke features as Fiorgiligi, Anna Dowsley as Dorabella, Jeremy Kleeman as Guglielmo and Brenton Spiteri as Ferrando. Seasoned performers Leanne Kenneally and Shaun Brown bring their depth of experience to the roles of Despina and Don Alonso.

COSI FAN TUTTE plays QPAC Playhouse from 10 Aug 2023