The original Così fan tutte
Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte, whose popularity made him the official poet to Emperor Joseph’s court, created three operas together, which have been performed continually since their premieres. Le nozze di Figaro (1786) and Don Giovanni (1787), based on French plays, deal with serious issues through Italian opera buffa, mainly focusing on the society and its morals. The last of the three, Così fan tutte (1789), is different. It’s a light-hearted comedy based on da Ponte’s original story.
In Così fan tutte, young noblewomen Dorabella ja Fiordiligi’s fidelity is put to the test by pretend philosopher Don Alfonso, who has teamed up with the girls’ fiancés, Ferrando and Guglielmo. This test of morals wouldn’t be possible without the help of the serving maid, Despina. To tempt the girls to marry their new moustached suitors, who are in fact their fiancés in disguise, she happily dresses up as a quack providing magnetic treatment and the notary of an impromptu wedding.