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Cosi Fan Tutte

ISBN 0714538825 / 9780714538822 / 0-7145-3882-5

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Book summary

English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. "It was a treat so truly intellectual that every ear and every breast, susceptible of harmony and of impression, was gratified to a degree beyond our power to describe." Thus one of the first London reviews in 1811 of Mozart's beautiful opera, Cosi fan tutte. Its enigmatic mixture of a detached experiment in human foibles and a struggle of sincere emotions has often disturbed audiences: in the last century it was performed under many different titles and extensively bowdlerised. H.C. Robbins Landon observes, however, that Mozart's heartfelt music proves he is openly on the side of the angels (that is, the ladies), not the deceivers, however cynical da Ponte's words alone appear to be. Brian Trowell describes the sophisticated world in which the opera was conceived, while John Stone traces the origins of the libretto to Ancient Greece, medieval Italy and even to China. The text is certainly da Ponte's most original masterpiece and is here presented in a newly revised English version.
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