The School For Lovers Is In Session With COSI FAN TUTTE in Toronto

The School For Lovers Is In Session With COSI FAN TUTTE in Toronto

Audiences get a lesson in love when Mozart's Così fan tutte (or The School for Lovers) returns to the Canadian Opera Company stage in 2019. The outlandish comedy follows two couples whose loyalty is put to the test by a meddling mentor looking to prove that all is fair in love and war. The stakes are set, a wager is made, and as sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella land squarely in temptation's crosshairs, their fiancés soon learn the steep price of truth at any cost. Così fan tutte runs for eight performances on February 5, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 21, 23, 2019.

Canadian stage and screen director Atom Egoyan takes his cue from the opera's subtitle, framing the opera in a school where love is a subject meant to be examined, dissected, and manipulated. Set and costume designer Debra Hanson plays on the theme of experimentation, creating larger-than-life set pieces that dominate the space, including a large curio cabinet, giant pinned butterflies, and a replica of Frida Kahlo's self-portrait, Las dos Fridas. Whimsical lighting design is created by Michael Walton.

Two fast-rising Canadian stars sing the roles of the two sisters. Soprano Kirsten MacKinnon sings Fiordiligi, a role to which she recently brought "the high notes and the low notes...and everything in between" (The Guardian) at the Glyndebourne Festival. International award-winning mezzo-soprano and recent Ensemble Studio graduate, Emily D'Angelo, brings her "vivacious and nimble" voice and "arresting vulnerability" (New York Times) to her role debut as Fiordiligi's sister, Dorabella. American tenor Ben Bliss and German baritone Johannes Kammler make their COC debuts as the sisters' fiancés, Ferrando and Guglielmo; Bliss as Ferrando has been praised for his "ideally sweet voice and boyish earnestness" (New York Times) while Kammler has been lauded for his "refined tone and smooth legato" (Financial Times). Notable Canadian baritone Russell Braun is renowned for a voice "capable of the most powerful explosions as well as the gentlest covered notes" (Toronto Star); he makes his role debut as Don Alfonso, the instigator at the heart of the opera's conflict. Canadian soprano Tracy Dahl reprises the role of Despina, a performance The Globe and Mail called "lively and funny" in the COC's 2014 presentation.

Internationally acclaimed conductor Bernard Labadie returns to lead the COC Orchestra through what is often described as Mozart's most perfect score. Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus through the work's stunning ensemble numbers.

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