Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cosi fan What-ee?

By now you may know that A Schooling in Love, or That’s What’s Up with Girls is adapted from the 1790 Mozart/DaPonte opera buffa Cosi fan Tutte, ossia La Scuola degli Amanti (“All Women are Like That or The School for Lovers”).

So, what is Cosi fan Tutte and what is it all about? Well, it is one of three shows by the 19th century superteam of W.A. Mozart and bad boy librettist Lorenzo DaPonte (more on Larry later). Their other two collaborations: The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni! (or, more technically, Le Nozze di Figaro, ossia La Folle Giornata and Il Dissoluto Punito, ossia Il Don Giovanni. – brownie points for the person who tells me what those mean!)

Cosi is sharp romantic comedy about infatuation and fidelity. The plot? Two young military officers (Ferrando and Guilielmo) brag that their fiancés (Fiordiligi and Dorabella) would be eternally faithful. Their boasts are overheard by a cynical, single, nobleman, Don Alfonso, who bets them that they are mistaken. The bet? The boys pretend to go off to war, and return disguised as two “Albanians.” They attempt to woo one another’s loves, and eventually succeed. Initially angry and heartbroken, the lovers decide that they have all learned a valuable lesson and get married despite the indiscretions. Sound familiar?

I know that Wikipedia can play it fast and loose with the facts sometimes, but here’s the entry on Cosi:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Così_fan_tutte Give it a look.

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