Published on: March 4, 2016
When many people hear the word “opera” they imagine Norse maidens in Viking garb singing Wagnerian arias. Or passionate, tragic heroes and heroines embroiled in great struggles for the sake of love and honor…heavy stuff indeed. But let’s not forget the humor of that master Mozart. His operas are known for a charm, wit, and cleverness that have delighted audiences for centuries.
So, when the six excellent cast members, orchestra, and chorus take the stage this coming March for the PSO’s performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, prepare to be elated and entertained by some of the greatest music, funniest characters, and best plot the world has ever witnessed. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’ equivalent of movies, opera combines the best of the dramatic and musical arts with a high value placed on entertainment.
Così fan tutte (Everyone Does It) is the story of two couples on vacation in Peoria. Two sisters, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, are dating soldiers Ferrando and Guglielmo. The two boys take a bet with the jaded Don Alfonso who tells them that all women are fickle and would be wooed by other men should they leave even for a short time. Don Alfonso elicits the help of the girls’ maid, Despina, herself a bit cynical about men and love. Let’s just say that Despina’s philosophy is “love the one you’re with!”
Don Alfonso produces fake marching orders for the boys and the girls lament them going off to war. The locals (chorus) cheer them on to glory. Are the locals in on the ruse as well? Meanwhile, Despina tells the girls to grow up and teaches them a lesson or two about men! Meanwhile, two foreigners (the boys disguised) show up and try to woo each other’s girlfriends. And here is where the fun begins. What will happen? Who will they choose? How will it end? I’m not going to tell you here, but I can guarantee you will enjoy the charm and humor of finding out as you laugh at these comic Mozart characters. And, you will find out why “Everyone Does It!”
If you have never seen an opera, this is the perfect first opera for you to see. If you are an opera connoisseur, you already know what a special evening this will be. Join us as we bring live, full-length opera back to Peoria. And don’t be surprised if you see some familiar faces in the chorus.
George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra
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