• Details

    A cheeky double dare results in false pretences and true love in Mozart’s dark comedy.

    Nicholas Hytner’s period production goes on Tour

    Would you place a bet on your partner’s faithfulness? And would you disguise yourself to test it? That’s exactly what Ferrando and Guglielmo do, and the surprising results are spelled out in the opera’s title: Così fan tutte (‘Women Are Like That’).

    As the innocent trick veers off-course, boisterous hijinks ensue, souls are searched, and true love is born – at some cost.

    Chock full of sublime Mozartean melodies and dazzling singing, Così fan tutte is the third and last of the brilliant operas Mozart wrote with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (alongside Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni).

    It has been described as ‘a glorious soap-bubble’, ‘a deep and unsettling masterpiece’, ‘a musical lark’, and ‘a profound and terrifying tragicomedy’.

    All these qualities and more shine through in this gorgeous period production by Nicholas Hytner, former longtime director of the National Theatre.

    See Così fan tutte at a venue near you

    7-26 October

    31 October-2 November
    Canterbury, The Marlowe Theatre
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    7 November-10 November
    Woking, New Victoria Theatre
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    14 November-16 November
    Norwich, Theatre Royal
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    21 November-23 November
    Milton Keynes Theatre
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    28 November-30 November
    Plymouth, Theatre Royal
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    Pre-performance talks

    Our pre-performance talks provide a bite-size overview of the opera that follows. Join us for a bite-sized introduction to the featured opera. Each talk is presented by an opera expert and lasts 30 minutes.

    Friday 13 October at 5.30pm
    Ebert Room, Glyndebourne – Find out more

    Tuesday 31 October
    The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

    Tuesday 7 November
    Woking, New Victoria Theatre

    Tuesday 14 November
    Norwich, Theatre Royal

    Tuesday 21 November
    Milton Keynes Theatre

    Tuesday 28 November
    Plymouth, Theatre Royal

    More details to be announced soon. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.

  • Cast and creative team

    Creative team

    Conductor Leo McFall
    Director Nicholas Hytner
    Revival Director Bruno Ravella
    Designer Vicki Mortimer
    Lighting Designer Paule Constable
    Revival Lighting Designer Keith Benson

    The Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra
    Leader Richard Milone

    Fortepiano continuo Matthew Fletcher
    Cello continuo Jonathan Tunnell

    The Glyndebourne Chorus
    Chorus Master Nicholas Jenkins

    Cast in order of appearance

    Ferrando Bogdan Volkov
    Guglielmo Ilya Kutyukhin
    Don Alfonso José Fardilha
    Fiordiligi Kirsten MacKinnon
    Dorabella Rachel Kelly
    Despina Ana Quintans

    Jofre Caraben van der Meer
    Philip Dew
    Vigee Harding
    Adrien Mastrosimone
    Mark Ruddick

  • Date and times


    VenueDateCurtain upShort intervalCurtain down
    Glyndebourne7 October 20174.00pm5.25pm7.18pm
    Glyndebourne13 October 20176.30pm7.55pm9.48pm
    Glyndebourne17 October 20174.00pm5.25pm7.18pm
    Glyndebourne20 October 20176.30pm7.55pm9.48pm
    Glyndebourne23 October 20176.30pm7.55pm9.48pm
    Glyndebourne26 October 20174.00pm5.25pm7.18pm


    Book now

    Canterbury, The Marlowe Theatre 31 October 2017
    Canterbury, The Marlowe Theatre 2 November 2017


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    Woking, New Victoria Theatre 7 November 2017
    Woking, New Victoria Theatre 10 November 2017


    Book now

    Norwich, Theatre Royal 14 November 2017
    Norwich, Theatre Royal 16 November 2017

    Milton Keynes

    Book now

    Milton Keynes Theatre 21 November 2017
    Milton Keynes Theatre 23 November 2017


    Book now

    Plymouth, Theatre Royal 28 November 2017
    Plymouth, Theatre Royal 30 November 2017
  • Synopsis

    Act I

    Don Alfonso and his young friends Ferrando and Guglielmo are arguing over the fidelity of women. Alfonso insists that all women are fickle, while Ferrando and Guglielmo refuse to believe that their fiancées, the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, could ever be unfaithful. Don Alfonso wagers that by the end of that very day their fiancées will have betrayed them. He instructs Ferrando and Guglielmo to pretend that they have received orders to go off to war. Fiordiligi and Dorabella are singing the praises of Guglielmo and Ferrando when Don Alfonso arrives to tell them that their bethrothed must immediately depart for the battlefield. The young men arrive and the two couples bid each other a tearful farewell. Despina, the sisters’ maid, is preparing their breakfast when Fiordiligi and Dorabella enter lamenting the departure. She counsels them to amuse themselves while their lovers are away, advice that horrifies them. After the sisters leave, Don Alfonso, who has overheard their conversation, recruits Despina to aid him in his plot, asking her to admit two suitors (the disguised Guglielmo and Ferrando) into the house. Fiordiligi and Dorabella are alarmed to find two strange men in their home, and become ever more alarmed when the two men begin courting them. Don Alfonso pretends the men are old friends of his and begs the sisters to accept them. But Fiordiligi staunchly swears fidelity to her absent Guglielmo. The sisters are lamenting the departure of their fiancés when the two ‘strangers’ barge in and swallow what seems to be poison. When they collapse, Despina and Don Alfonso go in search of a doctor, leaving Fiordiligi and Dorabella to tend to the apparently dying strangers. A doctor (Despina in disguise) arrives to revive the two afflicted suitors. As they recover, they vow their love to the vexed sisters with even greater passion, while Alfonso and Despina try to hide their amusement.

    Act II

    Fiordiligi and Dorabella are persuaded by Despina that there would be no harm in a bit of innocent flirtation. Dorabella chooses the disguised Guglielmo while Fiordiligi chooses Ferrando. The suitors serenade the two sisters. Fiordiligi goes off for a stroll with Ferrando while Guglielmo courts Dorabella. To his amazement, Dorabella surrenders rather easily. As they go off together, Ferrando returns with Fiordiligi, who continues to resist him and leaves. When the two young men exchange news of their progress, Ferrando is stricken to learn that his faithless Dorabella has yielded to Guglielmo. While Don Alfonso and Guglielmo covertly look on, Ferrando makes another attempt to break Fiordiligi’s tenacity. To Guglielmo’s distress, she too finally yields. Don Alfonso has now won his wager. He tries to console the two young men with his motto: ‘così fan tutte’ (‘all women are like that’). The sisters’ weddings to their two suitors are proceeding when a military chorus in the distance signals the ‘return’ of Ferrando and Guglielmo from battle. The suitors and the notary (again Despina in disguise) hide. A moment later Ferrando and Guglielmo appear in uniform, feigning the cool reception they receive. When they discover the marriage contract and the notary, they swear vengeance on their
    faithless fiancés and their suitors. Finally, they reveal their ruse and the two pairs of lovers are reconciled. Or are they?