Irish National Opera takes a light touch to Mozart’s timeless comedy opera Così fan tutte, skilfully exploring the intricacies of love, betrayal and the fragility of fidelity. This new production features a stellar cast of Irish and international singers including soprano Anna Devin, mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty, tenor Dean Power, baritone Benjamin Russell and soprano Majella Cullagh. Così fan tutte opens in the Gaiety Theatre on Tuesday 23 May with performances on Wednesday 24, Thursday 25, Friday 26 and a matinee and evening show on Saturday 27 May.
The dramatic tale revolves around two sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella who are in love with two officers, Guglielmo and Ferrando. Driven by a determination to prove their lovers’ faithfulness, the men, guided by an older friend Don Alfonso, embark on an audacious experiment. As the story unfolds, the young lovers navigate a labyrinth of emotions, expose their desires, doubts and vulnerabilities. Mozart’s genius radiates through in the glorious score with beautiful arias and lively ensembles. His music evokes laughter, reflection and a profound connection to the human experience.
Award-winning director Polly Graham, artistic director of Longborough Festival Opera, says “I am thrilled to be working with INO and such a wonderful team of artists on this rich and problematic opera. It’s an exciting challenge. It’s also lovely to be coming back to make work in Ireland, where I studied and had so many formative theatrical experiences.” Polly teams up with INO regular, Irish Times Irish Theatre Award-winning designer Jamie Vartan.
Conductor Peter Whelan, who last year won a coveted Olivier Award for his work with the Irish Baroque Orchestra in INO’s co-production of Vivaldi’s Bajazet with the Royal Opera House in London, says “Così fan tutte is one of Mozart’s most brilliantly colourful and vibrant scores. Inspired by the wit and vitality of Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto, the opera still feels immediate and fresh today.” Peter conducts nine of the 12 performances, with INO’s resident conductor Elaine Kelly conducting the other three.
Beyond its musical brilliance, Così fan tutte explores thought-provoking themes that still resonate in today’s world. It challenges us to question love, fidelity, and trust. Whether you’re an opera enthusiast or new to the genre, this production promises to captivate, entertain and renew your appreciation for Mozart’s genius.