Così fan tutte
W.A. Mozart, libretto Lorenzo DaPonte • Oct. 17, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29, 2020
Guglielmo and Ferrando, two dashing, handsome young soldiers, boast of their fiancées’ devotion and unshakable faithfulness. Their friend Don Alfonso, who’s been around the block, is skeptical. He believes all women have fickle, wandering eyes, and bets his friends that as long as they follow his instructions he can prove it. Thus begins Mozart and Da Ponte’s cunning collaboration Così fan tutte.
Blissfully unaware of this scheme, the two ladies – Fiordiligi and Dorabella – chat about love with Despina. Despina, prodded by Don Alfonso, encourages the ladies to play the field.
Guglielmo and Ferrando inform the ladies that they’re being sent off to war. After their alleged departure, Don Alfonso has them impersonate two love-starved strangers who woo each other’s fiancée with all their might.
Will Fiordiligi and Dorabella remain faithful? Or will they succumb to the strangers’ charms? To what comic lengths will Don Alfonso go to win a bet? Will anyone live happily ever after?
Così fan tutte is a delightful romantic comedy, full of surprises and Mozart’s magical melodies.
We invite you to join us for this brand new production of a classic Mozart favorite, conducted by Music Director Antony Walker and directed by Crystal Manich. Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Lean more about our COVID-19 Safety Protocols!
The Friday, October 23rd 7:30PM performance was livestreamed, free, on Pittsburgh Opera's YouTube channel and Facebook page. This video will remain up on our site (see below) and social media channels until November 6th. UPMC is the official livestream sponsor.
The Così fan tutte Cast
The Così fan tutte Creative Team
Conductor Antony Walker
Stage Director Crystal Manich
Set Designer BinhAn Nguyen
Costume Designer Jason Bray
Lighting Designer Cindy Limauro
Wig & Make-up Designer Nicole Pagano
Stage Manager Cindy Knight
Assistant Conductor Glenn Lewis
Director of Musical Studies Mark Trawka
Associate Coach/Pianist James Lesniak
Assistant Stage Director Kaley Karis Smith
Lighting Coordinator Todd Nonn
Assistant Stage Manager Alex W. Seidel
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
Here are some details and resources to help. Also visit our Opera FAQs or our Accessibility page.
- Study Guide for COSÌ FAN TUTTE (PDF), created by our Education department
- View or download our Recommended Listening and Reading List (PDF), prepared in collaboration with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Music Department
- There is a 'strobe light effect' in the Act I finale (when Despina uses "magnets" to revive the men). Technically it's an LED light doing a strobe effect, not an actual strobe light.
- Run time for COSÌ FAN TUTTE: 90 minutes, no intermission
- Understand Every Word: English Supertitles projected above the stage at all performances
- Audio Description available
- Large-Print Programs available
Two young officers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, boast about the beauty and virtue of their girlfriends, the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella. Their older friend, the cynical Don Alfonso, declares that a woman’s constancy is like the phoenix—everyone talks about it but no one has ever seen it. He proposes a wager: if they’ll give him one day and do everything he asks, he will prove to them that the sisters are unfaithful, like all other women. Amused, the young men agree.
Fiordiligi and Dorabella think of their lovers, imagining that they will soon be married. Alfonso’s plot begins when he arrives with terrible news: the young officers have been called away to their regiment. Ferrando and Guglielmo appear, apparently heartbroken, and the four make tearful farewells.
The sisters’ maid Despina complains about how much work she has to do around the house. Dorabella vents her despair at her lover’s absence. Despina refuses to take her seriously: they should simply find new lovers, since men are unworthy of a woman’s fidelity. Fiordiligi and Dorabella are shocked. Alfonso bribes Despina to assist him, without revealing his plot. Ferrando and Guglielmo enter in disguise as foreigners, and declare their admiration for the ladies, each addressing the other’s girlfriend. The sisters reject their advances, Fiordiligi comparing her constancy to a rock in a storm. The men are confident of winning the bet. Ferrando expresses his love for Dorabella, and the two friends leave.
As the sisters continue to lament the absence of their lovers, the “foreigners” return, pretending to have poisoned themselves in despair over their rejection. Despina and Alfonso go off to fetch help, leaving the two girls to care for the strangers. Despina reappears, disguised as a doctor, and pretends to treat the patients. When Ferrando and Guglielmo request kisses in order to fully recover, the sisters again reject them, but it is clear they’re beginning to show interest in the strangers.
Despina lectures her mistresses on how to handle men and the sisters agree that there can be no harm in a little flirtation. They decide on their partners, each picking the other’s suitor. Guglielmo, flirting with Dorabella, succeeds, but Ferrando has less luck with Fiordiligi. When he leaves, though, she struggles with her emotions.
Ferrando is certain that they have won the wager. Guglielmo is happy to hear that Fiordiligi has been faithful to him, but when he shows his friend the portrait that Dorabella gave him, Ferrando is furious. Guglielmo, adopting Alfonso’s philosophy, blames it on the women. He asks Alfonso to pay him his half of the winnings, but Alfonso reminds him that the day is not yet over.
Fiordiligi reproaches her sister for her behavior, but Dorabella replies that love is a thief who rewards those who obey him. Alone, Fiordiligi decides to join Guglielmo at the front, when suddenly Ferrando appears. He tries one last time to seduce her and succeeds.
Guglielmo is furious, but Alfonso again declares that this is the way women are. A man who has been deceived can blame only himself.
The sisters have agreed to marry the “foreigners.” Everything is ready and Alfonso arrives with the notary—Despina in another disguise. As Fiordiligi and Dorabella sign the contract, military music announces the return of their former lovers. In panic, they hide their intended husbands, who return as their real selves, first pretending surprise at their reception, then, when they discover the marriage contract, blaming the girls and threatening revenge. Finally, the men reveal their disguised identities and Fiordiligi and Dorabella ask forgiveness. Alfonso bids the lovers learn their lesson.
- Courtesy of Opera News, unabridged
- KDKA-TV CBS Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Cultural District Taking Financial Hit
- Post-Gazette - Pittsburgh Opera to keep live performances — but in a smaller venue
- Trib Live - Pittsburgh Opera productions to have small, live audiences
- Entertainment Central Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Opera Goes Live and In Person with ‘Così fan tutte’
- NEXT pittsburgh - 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in October
- Opera Wire - Pittsburgh Opera to Present Socially Distanced ‘Così fan tutte’
- Trib Live - Pittsburgh Opera to host live, in-person audiences for ‘Cosi fan tutte’
- Pittsburgh In The Round - Mozart 2020 Style – Pittsburgh Opera to Present “Così fan tutte” to Small, Protected Audiences
- Broadway World - Photo Flash: Pittsburgh Opera Presents Live Indoor Performances of COSI FAN TUTTE
- WQED: Voice of the Arts podcast for Così fan tutte
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Pittsburgh Opera offers live 'Cosi Fan Tutte' — with masks
- OperaGene: PITTSBURGH OPERA’S COSÌ FAN TUTTE: OPERA IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
- Seen & Heard International: Beating the odds – Pittsburgh Opera’s delightful, pandemic-wise Così fan tutte
- Pittsburgh In The Round: Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” a Season Opener for Pittsburgh Opera – and the History Kindles
“If my feelings should ever change”
“May the winds be gentle”
“In men you expect to find fidelity?”
“My heart will remain constant”
“The Locket Duet”
“My thankless heart”
“Your constant deceit”
“You’ve won me over”