The performance is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, including one intermission.
Youthful folly. Sublime music.
What is the true nature of love? It's a question every generation must face. Subtitled The School For Lovers, Così fan tutte is a bedroom farce complete with pining lovers, silly schemes and outrageous disguises. It is also an honest look at the pain and joy of growing up. Youthful certainty discovers the complexity of real life as the young people learn about love and their own hearts.
As two young men proclaim their sweethearts' virtue, their cynical friend Don Alfonso maintains that no woman on earth is capable of fidelity. He proposes a wager – and the four young lovers are plunged into a subversive game that turns their lives upside down. As the plot unfolds, the men successfully seduce each other's lover. However, the game goes awry as the young people learn more than they bargained for about love, betrayal, and forgiveness.
While Lorenzo Da Ponte's libretto is full of sly wit, broad comedy, and ruthless satire, Mozart's unparalleled musical understanding transforms the story of a cynical psychological experiment into one of the most compassionate and profoundly moving examinations of human behavior in opera.
The third of the great collaborations between Mozart and Da Ponte, Così fan tutte is considered by many to be the most profound of the three. It has been called Mozart's most perfect opera – which is to say one of the most perfect of all operas.
"Così Fan Tutte" is at once the most satisfying and elusive of Mozart operas . . . Here . . . are two sets of lovers. In perfect symmetry, they exchange partners, switch allegiances and submit to lame deceptions, greeting every improbability as if it were an immutable process of Euclidean law. Presiding over this faultless design is Don Alfonso, a rationalist's version of the Devil, who with the crook of his finger and a stern glance or two, lays out opera's most perfect isosceles triangle. When we add to all this perfection ensemble music that responds to every word and gesture of Lorenzo da Ponte's libretto, it becomes clear that "Così Fan Tutte" is the best opera we have ever had. . . . a wondrous look into Mozart's musical heart.
Bernard Holland, New York Times
Così fan tutte