It starts with a casual bet.
The wily cynic Don Alfonso wagers that the fiancées of two young men, complacent in their romantic notions of love, won’t stay faithful for a minute if put to the test. It sounds harmless enough and, anyway, the lovers are entirely sure of themselves.
But there is cruelty in this game of love and chance.
It’s difficult to think of an opera that contains more music of sheer beauty than Così fan tutte – or has a libretto that is more unsettling. The plot is a work of supreme artifice, yet the opera charts the boundaries of real and feigned emotion, trust and deception, loyalty and desire, with unsparing accuracy and truthfulness.
Tim Albery’s beautiful, thoughtful, 18th century styled production is set firmly in a pitiless Age of Reason.
There is a pre-show talk before each performance – tickets are free but must be pre-booked.