Catch Mozart's comic opera COSÌ FAN TUTTE at the Royal Opera House

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
27, 30 January, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13 February at 7pm

The second of the Royal Opera’s trio of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas is Così fan tutte.  This contemporary production by Jonathan Miller was first performed in 1995 and has evolved and been updated since its creation, notably in 2007, when Miller returned to direct the revival.

Designs are by Jonathan Miller with Tim Blazdell, Andrew Jameson, Colin Maxwell, Catherine Smith and Anthony Waterman, Lighting designs are by Jonathan Miller and John Charlton, and this revival will be directed by former Young Artist Harry Fehr.

The opera explores the frailty of human relationships, examining the questions of trust and fidelity with funny, touching and sometimes painful consequences.  The story centres on a wager orchestrated by the arch-manipulator Don Alfonso. He bets two young men (Ferrando and Guglielmo) that their lovers (Fiordiligi and Dorabella) are not as devoted to them as they would think, and with deviousness and disguise devises a ploy to test their lovers’ constancy.

Sharing the baton are British conductor and famed Mozartian Sir Colin Davis (27, 30 Jan, 2, 4, 7, 10 Feb) and The Royal Opera’s Head of Music David Syrus (13 Feb).

Sir Colin Davis has previously conducted this production of Così fan tutte in 1998, 2001 and 2007.  His recent conducting appearances with The Royal Opera include Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro and Hansel and Gretel.

David Syrus has conducted many Mozart operas for The Royal Opera, including Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, and, most recently, Die Zauberflöte. He has also recently conducted Don Pasquale and Fidelio for The Royal Opera.

American tenor Charles Castronovo returns to sing Ferrando, a role in which he made his Royal Opera debut in 2004 and returned to in 2010. He has also sung Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress) and Alfredo Germont (La traviata) for The Royal Opera. Recent roles include Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) in Nice and Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) in Rome.

Making his Royal Opera House in the role of Guglielmo is Belarus-born baritone Nikolay Borchev.  He is currently a member of the Bayerische Staatsoper, where his roles have included Guglielmo, Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) and Belcore (L’elisir d’amore).  Other recent appearances include Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia) in Berlin.

Swedish soprano Malin Byström makes her Royal Opera role debut as Fiordiligi, a role she has previously performed in Stockholm, Oslo, Beaune, Lyons and for Opera North.  She made her Royal Opera debut in 2002 as Amalia (I masnadieri) and recently sang the role of Marguerite (Faust) for The Royal Opera, in September 2011.  Other recent roles include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) in Salzburg.

Making her Royal Opera role debut as Dorabella is Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier.  She has previously sung the role with Arizona Opera and for the Salzburg Festival.  She made her Covent Garden debut earlier in this Season as Siébel (Faust).  Other recent appearances include Le Prince Charmant (Cendrillon) in Paris, Charlotte (Werther) in Montréal and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) in San Francisco and Washington.

Returning to the role of Don Alfonso is British baritone Thomas Allen who celebrates the 40th anniversary of his Covent Garden debut this Season.  He sang this role in the first staging of the production in 1995, returning to sing the role in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and in 2001, 2004 and 2007.  He made his debut at Covent Garden in December 1971 as Donald (Billy Budd) and has sung over fifty roles for The Royal Opera including more recently, Gianni Schicchi, Prosdocimo (Il turco in Italia) and Peter (Hänsel und Gretel).

Singing the role of Despina for the first time at Covent Garden is British soprano Rosemary Joshua. She has previously sung Despina in Munich.  She made her Royal Opera debut in 1994 as Pousette (Manon).  Her recent roles with the Royal Opera include Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) and Angelica (Orlando).

Running time: about 3 hours 20 minutes with 1 Interval.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles