San Diego Civic Theatre
Civic Theatre - 3rd Ave at B St, 92101
Sat, Feb 12 at 7:30pm
Tue, Feb 15 at 7:30pm
Fri, Feb 18 at 7:30pm
Sun, Feb 20 at 2pm
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Così fan tutte

Così fan tutte, returns to the San Diego Opera stage after a 17 year absence!

Is it really true that all women are fickle? A confirmed bachelor believes all women have wandering eyes and bets two young soldiers that their fiancés can’t remain faithful for 24 hours. To prove their friend wrong the soldiers disguise their identities to test their lovers’ fidelity. Will the women fall for their "new" suitors as the opera's title ("All women do it") suggests? Filled with humor and keen insight into capricious human nature, this wacky farce is full of mischief, mistaken identities, love and some of Mozart’s most playful music.

An international cast of young stars makes their Company debuts in this production including mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as Dorabella, baritones Reginald Smith, Jr. as Don Alfonso and John Brancy as Guglielmo, and tenor Konu Kim as Ferrando. Soprano Alisa Jordheim, who dazzled audiences as Gilda in 2019’s production of Rigoletto, rounds out the cast as Despina in a production staged by “opera provocateur” Timothy Nelson in his Company debut. Bruce Stasyna conducts.

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

The approximate run time is 3 hours and 15 minutes, including one 20 minute intermission.

PRE-OPERA LECTURE: The pre-opera lecture begins at 6:40pm before the 7:30pm for evening performances. The Sunday matinee pre-opera lecture begins at 1:10pm before the 2:00pm curtain.

MAIN STAGE POST-OPERA TALK-BACKS: Stay after the performance for a Talk-Back. Once the curtain falls, there will be a 10-minute break, join us in the front of the Dress Circle section for a TALK-BACK with San Diego Opera insiders and cast members (subject to availability). Ask questions and find out what really happened during the performance.

We are grateful for the continued support of the San Diego community. If San Diego Opera is unable to perform any of our spring productions or you are unable to attend due to health constraints, we will either exchange your tickets into another spring production, keep the value of your tickets on your account available for future use as you see fit, turn the value of your tickets into a donation to SD Opera, or refund the value of your tickets to you.

Così fan tutte, Synopsis

Act I

The wise and weary Don Alfonso is trying to enlighten soldiers Ferrando and Guglielmo as to the true nature of women while they enjoy some morning sport. He places a bet that he can prove their girlfriends, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, are not the icons of purity the young men believe them to be, but are just as moveable in their affections as anyone else. Both sides are confident of victory, and while the bet is on, Ferrando and Guglielmo agree to do as they are told by Alfonso.

Sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella share their infatuation with their boyfriends. Alfonso tells them that their men have been called up into service, and must leave immediately for the "front lines". The men feign a tearful farewell scene and “go off to war." The women are devastated but their maid, Despina, tells them to look on the bright side and have a good time in their absence—in other words, behave exactly as men would do.

Don Alfonso enlists Despina in a scheme, and he presents two bizarre looking “friends” to her, and then to the sisters. Neither Fiordiligi nor Dorabella, nor even Despina, recognize Guglielmo and Ferrando in disguise.

Offended to see the strange men, Fiordiligi and Dorabella are repelled by their advances. They declare fidelity to their lovers. The young men are delighted but Alfonso is still confident in his ultimate triumph.

The sisters continue to grieve for their boyfriends away in battle. The two strangers return and, despondent in the women’s rejection, swallow “poison” and collapse. The terrified girls call for Despina, who goes to find a “doctor”, really herself in disguise, who claims to cure any illness by magnetism. The men revive and believing they are in heaven, demand a kiss from their “angels,” Fiordiligi and Dorabella. The sisters rebuff their advances once again.

Act II

Overhearing Despina’s take on romantic affairs, the sisters agree to befriend their new admirers. They decide on preferences: Dorabella chooses the disguised Guglielmo; Fiordiligi selects the disguised Ferrando. Each has instinctively and unknowingly chosen the other’s partner. Dorabella yields to Guglielmo, exchanging heart pendants as a pledge of fidelity. Meanwhile, Fiordiligi rejects Ferrando.

Ferrando and Guglielmo report on their progress. Ferrando is furious at the infidelity of his fiancée, Dorabella.

Fiordiligi decides that to stay strong and true to Guglielmo, she must disguise herself as a soldier a nd run away to join him at war. Ferrando confronts her again and she finally yields. Agonized, Guglielmo witnesses it all. Don Alfonso has proven his point and won the bet.

Don Alfonso and Despina arrange for the new couples to be “married” by Despina, disguised as a notary. As the girls sign their names, a military band is heard, signaling that the soldiers have returned unexpectedly. In the confusion, the two men disappear, reemerging without their disguise. Shocked at the evidence of a wedding they swear vengeance on their rivals.

The entire plot is finally revealed. All four lovers’ certainties have been destroyed and no one knows quite what to believe, except that human nature is far more complex than they ever imagined.

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