Royal Opera House: Cosi Fan Tutte
About the Film:
Ferrando loves Dorabella and Guglielmo loves Fiordiligi – but their friend Don Alfonso is sceptical. He offers the young men a bet: given the opportunity, their loves will prove unfaithful in less than a day. Confident of their girlfriends’ fidelity, Ferrando and Guglielmo accept.
The men pretend to be called away to war, only to return in disguise: each begins to woo the other’s lover. It quickly becomes clear that the feelings of all four lovers are much more complicated than any of them had thought. Don Alfonso watches on as the young men and women graduate through his school for lovers.
Così fan tutte was Mozart’s third and final collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, following Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. Like its predecessors, Così exemplifies the heights opera can reach when the skills of composer and librettist are perfectly matched. But Così’s reception has always been more complex than that of the other Mozart/Da Ponte operas, with the opera variously considered immoral, unfinished, cruel or simply odd since its 1790 premiere. Now finally accepted as one of Mozart’s masterpieces, it is celebrated as much for its nuanced depiction of love as for its glorious music – a near continuous roll-call of favourites, including the terzetto ‘Soave sia il vento’ and the arias ‘Come scoglio’, ‘Tradito, schernito’ and ‘È amore un ladroncello’.
German director Jan Philipp Gloger makes his Royal Opera debut with this new production of Così fan tutte, following such previous credits as Der fliegende Holländer for the Bayreuth Festival and Der Rosenkavalier for Dutch National Opera. He and his team of regular collaborators take their inspiration from Mozart and Da Ponte’s alternative title for the opera: ‘The School for Lovers’. Don Alfonso, a mischievous theatrical impresario, leads the young lovers on a journey through their emotions, using all the resources of his theatre in a quest to prove to them that, in Gloger’s words, ‘love is not a God-given thing, but something that we have to fight for, find, define, create and dream newly, almost every day’.