The last of the great collaborations with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, Così fan tutte was, for many years, considered unworthy of a composer of Mozart’s genius. The problem was the frivolous nature of the plot, and its misogynistic theme – testing the fidelity of women through a series of tricks pulled by their lovers. Dig deeper, however, and a clever comedy of manners emerges. Mozart’s genius in depicting human emotions and frailties is breathtaking. His simultaneous mix of the comic, the cruel and the serious has seldom been used to such effect by any composer before or since – and even with such a skilled librettist as da Ponte, the quality of the music far outshines that of the text. Today Così fan tutte is ranked rightly alongside Mozart’s other great operas.
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