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Cosi fan tutte with Nevill Holt Opera and RNS

Posted on 31 January 2019

Così fan tutte contains some of Mozart’s most beautiful arias and attractive ensembles, and is packed with both pathos and humour. Take a look at the facts below.

1. Relationships in music

Much of the opera is made up of ensembles from duets to sextets, highlighting Mozart’s interest in the relationships between people and sudden shifts of mood.

2. Stylistic Divide

Mozart dissolves the traditional musical divide between comic opera and dramatic opera and constantly keeps audiences guessing.

3. Don oboe

Throughout the opera, the oboe is associated with Don Alfonso and this is set out in the opening solo of the overture.

4. Between a rock and a hard place

Fiordiligi’s aria Come Scoglio talks about her being like a rock and unmoved by temptation but the music tells a completely different story. It spans two octaves and has a number of large musical leaps.

5. What a mouthful

Mozart’s full name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophillus Amadeus Gottlieb Sigismundus Mozart. Theophillus, Amadeus, Gottlieb and Sigismundus all mean “beloved of God,” just in different languages.

6. Life story?

Mozart’s life slightly resembled the story of Così fan tutte for a time – a few years before he married his wife Constanze Weber, he was engaged to her sister Aloysia.

7. Swan Song

Written barely two years before Mozart’s early death, Così fan tutte stands as his final, multilayered statement in the Italian opera buffa genre.

8. PG Version

1858 A production of Così fan tutte in Stuttgart altered the story so that Ferrando and Guglielmo seduce their original partners, which allows the women to be faithful to their fiancés—a change that presumably made the opera less objectionable to the moral sensibilities of the audience.

9. Speed writing

Mozart probably composed it rapidly, in the final months of 1789.

10. Lovers tiff

The opera’s full title is Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti. More commonly shorted to Cosi fan tutte, which can be loosely translated as “they’re (women) all like that”. Da Ponte wanted it to be called The School for Lovers – they argued amongst themselves over what to call it.

Come and see Royal Northern Sinfonia and Nevill Holt Opera in their fully staged version of Cosi fan tutte at Sage Gateshead on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July 2019.