Così fan tutte
Following the great successes of Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte was the last of the three operas that Mozart wrote with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. Although well received at its premiere in Vienna in 1790, it was then largely neglected until the mid-twentieth century. Its comic, but deeply felt portrayal of the foibles of young people in love has since become recognized as perhaps the most sophisticated and perfect of all Mozart’s operas.
This guide contains articles that describe the genesis of the opera and the circumstances surrounding its first performances, a musical commentary which takes the reader through the opera’s main themes and an overview of the ways in which it fell out of favour in the nineteenth century. A detailed description of its more recent performance history reflects how the work has now established a secure position in the repertory of opera houses throughout the world. The guide also includes sixteen pages of illustrations, a musical thematic guide, the full libretto with English translation, a discography, bibliography and DVD and website guides.
The Making of Così fan tutte, Richard Wigmore
The Music of Così fan tutte, Julian Rushton
Così fan tutte: A Selective Performance History, Hugh Canning
Così fan tutte: Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Così fan tutte: English translation by Jonathan Burton
For anyone with a keen interest in opera, whatever their level of knowledge, this series remains a benchmark of quality and clarity. The content is serious, reliable and trustworthy, handsomely put together, full of variety and scholarship but always making the practical experience of going to the opera a priority. I return to these volumes again and again and find the updated and new issues absolutely invaluable.
These guides, so beautiful to have and to behold, mark a huge advance on their predecessors. I find them essential supplements, not only to ENO and Royal Opera programmes, but to recordings issued on CD which often come without scholarly documentation and a libretto. The performance histories … are especially valuable, and not easily accessible elsewhere.
For everything you need to know, concisely packaged.
I am delighted to see the return of the ENO Opera Guides, bigger and even more authoritative than before. There are authoritative new articles as well as several of the irreplaceable originals, the presentation is very handsome and a decided gain is the brilliantly chosen selection of production images, in colour as well as black and white. The Guides are an invaluable reference for opera lovers at any level.
BBC Music Magazine
Neat little volumes they are, handy for carrying around, clearly printed and well set-out, complete with libretto and translation, discography and a generous selection of illustrations.
This uniformly excellent series is indispensable for the serious opera lover, all the more so now that almost all the CD companies have abandoned issuing a libretto with their opera releases, and have such scant background information. The English translations are on facing pages with the original texts, and in all respects the books are helpful and compact, and interestingly illustrated.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) was born in Salzburg, and began composing at the age of five. His subsequent prolific output included the great operas of his maturity, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte.