Cosi Fan Tutte 2012 - Synopsis

ACT ONE

SCENE 1 (Alfonso's Bar and Coffee House. Mid 1960's)

During the Overture, Don Alfonso is betrayed in love yet again, confirming his cynical attitude to women's fidelity. He changes the name of his bar to "Cosi fan tutte" (They are all the same). Fiordiligi and Dorabella's parents go on a trip back to the old country, leaving their sheltered daughters in the care of a housekeeper/chaperone Despina. Alfonso's two young soldier friends, Guglielmo and Ferrando, boast of the fidelity of their young Italian girlfriends Fiordiligi and Dorabella. Alfonso meets this with scepticism and a bet is made: provided the boys do as he says, he will prove that all women are the same and not to be trusted. The boys make the bet.

SCENE 2 (The garden of the sisters' house, Mornington Peninsula)
Fiordiligi and Dorabella are day dreaming about their boyfriends relative merits when Alfonso arrives with the terrible news that the boys have been called into action. The boys are leaving that very day The boys bid a tender farewell, and the sisters and Alfonso wave to the departing ship.

SCENE 3 (The living room of the sisters' house)
Dorabella's over-the-top sorrow is brushed aside by Despina, who urges the girls to enjoy themselves while the boys are away. They are shocked. Alfonso enlists Despina in his plan to introduce a couple of Indian love gurus to the sisters. Despina does not recognize the love-gurus who are of course Guglielmo and Ferrando in disguise. They proceed to woo each other's girlfriend and are rebuffed.

SCENE 4 (The Garden)
A more dangerous attack is made with the boys pretending to take poison. Despina disguised as a quack doctor begs the girls to revive them with a show of affection. The boys recover, and beg for a kiss to complete their cure. They are rebuffed.. .just.

ACT TWO

SCENE 1 (The living room)

The girls now hardly need Despina's further encouragement and decide between themselves which love-guru they prefer.

SCENE 2 (The garden)
The love-gurus continue their wooing with help from some hippy friends. Dorabella falls to Guglielmo's advances, and he smugly retails this to Ferrando. Fiordiligi holds out. Alfonso convinces Ferrando to make another attempt.

SCENE 3 (The living room)

Dorabella is altogether happier now that she has given in. Fiordiligi decides she will find Guglielmo on the battlefield, but is stopped by Ferrando whose ardent approach is finally successful. Alfonso's bet is won. A double wedding is arranged.

SCENE 4 (Alfonso's Bar, Coffee House and Reception Centre)
The Wedding is well underway with the versatile Despina appearing as the celebrant. Suddenly the march heralding the return of the soldiers is heard, freezing the sisters' blood. The love-gurus flee, and Guglielmo and Ferrando return. The sisters are taunted by the boys, they are forgiven, and a resolution of the wiser couples is arranged.

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