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Cosi fan tutte
Cosi fan tutte (or La scuola degli amanti, The School of Lovers, also known
under the German title So machen es alle; a more accurate translation would
be All women do like that, tutte being feminine gender) is a comic opera in
two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte.
This opera was written and composed at the suggestion of the Emperor Joseph
II, and was first produced at Vienna in 1790. It is founded upon an actual
occurrence. The libretto is of rather a doubtful character and has often
been improved and altered.
Time, the 18th century.
Act I. Don Alfonso lays a wager with the officers Fernando and Guglielmo, by
which they are to test the fidelity of their brides, Fiordiligi and
Dorabella, for the space of a day. The officers seemingly bid farewell to
them, but return disguised as rich Albanians. They are unrecognised and make
love to each other's wives. The maid Despina tries to induce her mistresses
to give ear to the rich strangers, but the sisters remain steadfast.
Alfonso, who does not wish to lose his wager, bribes Despina, and when the
Albanians seemingly take poison before the eyes of the ladies, the maid
appears disguised as a physician, and saves their lives by pretended
Act II. Persuaded by Despina, Dorabella is the first of the two to listen to
the pleadings of the disguised Guglielmo, to whom she gives the picture of
her betrothed Fernando. Fernando wins Fiordiligi. Despina, at the suggestion
of Alfonso, now disguises herself as a notary and brings the marriage
contracts. At this moment news ar–rives of the return of the officers. The
cowering Alba–nians, who have been hidden by the sisters, escape in order to
reappear in their true characters. They unmask Despina, show the faithless
brides their marriage contracts, and finally reveal themselves, but at the
critical moment Alfonso, who has won the bet, explains all and brings about