A vacation romance goes awry… in the Rockies!
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Premiere: 1790, Vienna
About the Story
Così fan tutte, roughly translated as “they are all like that,” tells the story of sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella facing the conundrum of remaining faithful to their lovers Guglielmo and Ferrando. Our production updates the setting from the 1790s to a Rocky Mountain resort in the 1930s. The sisters arrive for their vacation. They cast eyes upon, and promptly fall for, two dashing young mounties. Exasperated and charmed by the couples mooning around the hotel, resort staffer Despina teams up with long-term resident Don Alfonso to play a double trick on them, testing both the depth of their affections and their assumptions about their own motivations. The story walks the tightrope between Opera Seria (serious plots) and Opera Buffa (comedic plots) and Mozart takes full advantage of these moods weaving his music between the two contrasts throughout. Flighty and fickle? Faithful and true? One could argue that couples must discover their balance to know their future. While a happy ending is never guaranteed, these lovers throw themselves into the discovery with flirtation and fun, while also questioning what motivates their true desires.
About the Music
Opera, at its best, is musical storytelling. Mozart had already established himself as a composer who excelled at this artform when Così fan tutte had its premiere. After the Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, Così was the third collaboration between clergyman-turned bad boy-turned poet Lorenzo da Ponte and the brilliant young Mozart. From Fiordiligi’s famous virtuosic aria “Come Scoglio,” where she declares herself to be ‘like a rock” against any impropriety, to the sextet at the end of act one, “Dammi un baccio” where the gentlemen in disguise ‘ask for a kiss’ from their opposite fiancée through sweet, romantic, and amusing musical lines, Mozart never fails to put us, listeners, right into the middle of the emotion in question with his musical creativity. Witty opera plot aside, when we get treated to hearing the trio“Soave sia il vento” (be gentle winds), we hear the pathos of simplicity at which Mozart excelled, as if we were smiling through our tears.
What to expect
Mozart provides us with many musical possibilities that continue to resonate hundreds of years after Così’s premiere. This production evens the playing field a bit from some older productions that give the boys all the fun. You will hear some of the most beautiful vocal lines ever composed, and moments of extraordinary joy, pain, sorrow and longing, but in this setting, you will see those moments play out among a vibrant, fashionable crowd at a 1930s resort in the Canadian Rockies. Watch out also for the appearance (both vocally and musically) of a log driver or two, and above all, be prepared to laugh along with the foibles of young romance as we watch these couples fall head over heels … over head over heels.
Sung in Italian
Performed with Live Orchestral Ensemble