Opera Saratoga to Open Season With Mozart's Comic COSI FAN TUTTE

The opera explores love, loyalty, and vulnerability.

By: Jun. 24, 2024
Opera Saratoga to Open Season With Mozart's Comic COSI FAN TUTTE
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La Scuola degli Amanti - The School for Lovers - was always the subtitle of Mozart's and librettist Lorenzo da Ponte's third collaboration together, Così fan Tutte. Director Gisela Cardenas and Conductor Ryan McAdams bring this comic opera to life at Universal Preservation Hall in downtown Saratoga Springs.

More appropriately for Opera Saratoga's thematic season, we could call Così The School for Gambles, as all of the main characters wage bets against one another in one form or another, assuming the worst of human nature and testing the limits of friendships and relationships in this famous comic opera.

The story is about two young couples, Ferrando (Maximillian Jansen) and Dorabella (Anna Kelly), and Guglielmo (Michael J. Hawk) and Fiordiligi (Julia Stuart), whose relationships are put to the test by their older friend Don Alfonso (Grammy-nominated Aubrey Allicock). Don Alfonso, a cynical philosopher, bets the men that their fiancées will cheat on them if they follow his instructions for a day. He tells the women that the men have gone to war and sends two disguised versions of the men to try to win the women over. Eventually, the lovers come clean about the entire bet and the foursome have to choose whether to forgive and how to move on. The opera explores themes of love, loyalty, and friendship, and how vulnerable love can be.

Even if Così sometimes speeds along as a lighthearted comic opera (or buffo), in conductor Ryan McAdams' view, it should more properly be considered a dramma giocoso, which he described in a recent interview as "a very serious drama with jokes." As he put it "Mozart wanted us to take these feelings and emotions very seriously. And I still come away with unanswered questions - about how human beings desire each other, and reconsider who they are and who they can be in the context of those desires." For him, these reconsiderations become "almost existential" by the opera's finale.

"This season pays homage to Saratoga Springs' history as a pleasure-seeker's paradise and betting destination while looking to the future by pushing the definition of what opera can be - and how it can be made - forward," said Mary Birnbaum, General and Artistic Director, "We hope to tempt risk-takers to the festival by dazzling them with reinventions of classics."

Performance Details: 


June 28, 7:30 pm

June 30, 2 pm

July 3, 2 pm

July 6, 7:30 pm


Universal Preservation Hall

25 Washington Street

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit operasaratoga.org


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