Cosi Fan Tutte 08
Director: Ashley Dean
Conductor: Bernard McDonald
Designer: Cordelia Chisholm
Lighting Design: Paul Need
Sat 15 March & Mon 17 - Wed 19 March 2008 7.15pm
New Athenaeum Theatre
Surtitles by Timothy Dean
Surtitle Operator: Daniel Murfin
Lead Describer: Jacqueline Bouchard
+15 and 18 March 2008
++19 March only
Stage Manager: Ashleigh Riley
Deputy Stage Manager: Michael Offland
Asst. Stage Manager: Michaella Fee
Asst. Stage Manager: Emma Whoriskey
Technical Stage Manager: Emma McKie
Deputy Technical Stage Manager: Graeme Mackie
Production Electrician: Callum Howie
Lighting Operator: Puleng Mabuya
Lighting Operator: Calum Willoughby
Assistant Scenic Artists:
Carpenters: Andrew Smart
Carpenters: Paul Crowe
Flute: Eun A Park
Oboe: Christopher Wheeler
Clarinet: Kim Stephen, Yla Garvie
Bassoon: Anna Mary Lynch, Judith Barclay
Horn: Julia MacDonell, Martin Murphy
Trumpet: Mandy Murphy, Michael Thomas
Timpani: Calum Huggan
Violin i: Gergely Horvath, Ani Batikian, Gordon Duncan
Violin ii: Rachel Spencer, Paul Livingston, Marta Linkmeyer Gabino
Viola: Hua Zhong, Liam Redmond
Cello: Marianne Diessner, Feargus Egan
Double Bass: Andres Kungla
Harpsichord continuo: Hyery Hwang
Guglielmo, Ferrando (two soldiers) and Don Alfonso are in the middle of an argument concerning the faithfulness of their respective sweethearts, two sisters, Fiordiligi and Dorabella. The boys make out that their girls are not capable of being unfaithful to them. Alfonso demands to know upon what proof they make such a wild claim. He lays a bet with the two young men that he can prove them wrong. The plan is to make it appear that the men have been called off to war and then adopt a disguise and try to seduce the sisters. Meanwhile, Fiordiligi and Dorabella are discussing the respective merits of their young men as shown in their portraits. Their daydreaming is suddenly interrupted by Don Alfonso, who sadly informs the girls that their sweethearts have been called off to war and must leave immediately. Guglielmo and Ferrando appear and bid heartbroken farewells to their ladies. The sisters’ tears cause the men to be sure that they will win the bet, and Alfonso, left alone, reflects on the futility of betting against the certainty of a woman’s heart. When the girl’s maid, Despina, learns that the men have left for the battlefield, she suggests finding two more – “One man is worth as much as another, because both are worth nothing!”. She advises the girls to treat love lightly, to “love for convenience”. Both girls are outraged by their maid’s impertinence and leave the room disconsolate.
Don Alfonso enters and, realising that the cunning Despina could upset his plans, seeks her out and offers her a bribe to help him introduce two ‘foreign friends’ of his to the ladies. Despina agrees. The friends arrive, disguised as Albanians. When Alfonso realises that Despina doesn’t recognise the men under their moustaches, he knows the plan can continue. Fiordiligi and Dorabella enter and, not recognising their lovers, are outraged at finding strange men in their house, and firmly resist their exaggerated advances. Some time later, the girls do their best to return to normal life. They are suddenly interrupted by the two ‘Albanians’, who rush in brandishing bottles of poison, which they proceed to gulp down, while Alfonso pretends to try to stop them. As the Albanians sink into a coma, the girls panic and call for Despina to help. Shortly Alfonso announces the doctor, who is none other than Despina in disguise, spouting Latin and giving her credentials as being a student of the famous ‘magnetiser’ Dr. Mesmer. Strangely she manages to revive the comatose Albanians, who awake and thinking they are in the Elysian Fields, demand a kiss from their goddesses.
Once more, Despina tries to persuade the girls to entertain the Albanian men. When they still refuse, she insists that young elegant women like these “can be without love, but not without lovers!”, and shows them how to gain power and have themselves obeyed like queens. The girls agree they will let the men enter, but only to amuse themselves a little and divert themselves from melancholy.
The Albanians have arranged for an outdoor serenade in the garden. Guglielmo pairs off with Dorabella, and Ferrando with Fiordiligi. Left alone, Guglielmo urges Dorabella to accept a new locket. After a little protest, she agrees to exchange lockets. It seems that Dorabella’s outer defences have been easily breached by Guglielmo. With Fiordiligi, however, the matter is not so simple. She turns a deaf ear to Ferrando’s advances. The two men meet and compare notes on their progress with each other’s women. Guglielmo is smug about Fiordiligi’s apparent constancy, but Ferrando is furious when he hears of Dorabella’s conduct and sees proof in the locket he himself had given her.
Fiordiligi resolves to make a last effort to extricate herself from her situation. She asks Despina to find two soldier’s uniforms and plans to go to the front with her sister, disguised as soldiers and if need be, die with their lovers in battle. No sooner is this plan set in motion than Ferrando arrives, still disguised, and presses his suit so eloquently that Fiorliligi simply cannot resist him. They fall into each other’s arms. The eavesdropping Guglielmo is furious but Alfonso counsels forgiveness, reminding the boys that deep down, they love their girls.
Now for the double wedding between the sisters and their Albanians. Alfonso brings in a notary (really Despina in another disguise). Just as the girls have signed their nuptial contract, military music is heard outside, announcing the return of the men from the wars. Their suspicion turns to terror when Alfonso confirms that Ferrando and Guglielmo are coming up to the house at that very moment. The ‘Albanians’ scurry off in panic and a moment later return as the officers, professing their love. Alfonso drops the marriage contract in front of the officers, and, when they read it, they become enraged. They then depart and return moments later, half in Albanian disguise, half as officers. Despina has been revealed to be the notary, and the sisters realize they have been duped. Alfonso attempts to reunite the original couples.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Phyllis Mitchell from Walkers Shortbread
Shelly Johnson from Katie May Candles
Sainsbury’s Buchanan Galleries
Marks and Spencer Sauchiehall Street
National Theatre of Scotland