Following the great successes of Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte was the last of the three operas that Mozart wrote with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. Although well received at its premiere in Vienna in 1790, it was then largely neglected until the mid-twentieth century. Its comic, but deeply felt portrayal of the foibles of young people in love has since become recognized as perhaps the most sophisticated and perfect of all Mozart’s operas.
This guide contains articles that describe the genesis of the opera and the circumstances surrounding its first performances, a musical commentary which takes the reader through the opera’s main themes and an overview of the ways in which it fell out of favour in the nineteenth century. A detailed description of its more recent performance history reflects how the work has now established a secure position in the repertory of opera houses throughout the world. The guide also includes sixteen pages of illustrations, a musical thematic guide, the full libretto with English translation, a discography, bibliography and DVD and website guides.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) was born in Salzburg, and began composing at the age of five. His subsequent prolific output included the great operas of his maturity, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte.
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