Dramma giocoso in two acts K. 588 (1790)
Libretto: Lorenzo Da Ponte
Women are like that, women act that way – no matter how you translate the words "Così fan tutte", it boils down to this: women are impossible to understand! The philosopher Don Alfonso, however, believes he knows how to read women’s hearts and is ready to test his theory in a little experiment of love. When Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann’s production of "Così" begins, we find Don Alfonso playing with fire. First it’s only a cigarette, but then it’s the flames of love that he’s stoking. And the instrument he’s using is ancient, well-worn and very effective: jealousy.
In their light-footed, witty and poetic staging, the Herrmanns took advantage of the wide stage of the Großes Festspielhaus to create a luminous and elegantly minimalist landscape dotted with a few sparing but stylish props. The lovers are portrayed with verve and compelling emotional confusion, Guglielmo and Ferrando as the cocky soldiers learn that lying isn’t the best way to find out the truth.
Ana María Martínez, Fiordiligi
Sophie Koch, Dorabella
Stéphane Degout, Guglielmo
Shawn Mathey, Ferrando
Helen Donath, Despina
Sir Thomas Allen, Don Alfonso
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Michael Honeck, conductor
Ursel and Kar-Ernst Herrmann, stage directors
Thomas Grimm, video director
Recording dates: 31.07.| 12.08.| 16.08.2006
Venue: Großes Festspielhaus