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'Great Performances at the Met': Così fan tutte coming to PBS

A scene from Act II of Mozart's "Così fan tutte" with Serena Malfi as Dorabella, Adama Plachetka as Guglielmo, Kelli O'Hara as Despina, Christopher Maltman as Don Alfonso, Amanda Majeski as Fiordiligi, and Ben Bliss as Ferrando. Credit: Jonathan Tichler / Met Opera

Great Performances at the Met:
Così fan tutte
Premieres nationwide Sunday, July 29 at 12 p.m. on PBS
(check local listings)
Season 12 of Great Performances at the Met continues Sunday, July 29 on PBS (check local listings) with Mozart’s comedy of the sexes Così fan tutte, starring Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara as the manipulative Despina and Christopher Maltmanas mastermind Don Alfonso. Amanda MajeskiSerena MalfiBen Bliss and Adam Plachetka round out the cast.
Phelim McDermott’s new production sets the comedic opera in a 1950s Coney Island carnival, where the artful Don Alfonso offers Ferrando and Guglielmo a wager: he will prove to the men that their fiancés, the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, will be unfaithful to them under the right circumstances. The two men accept the challenge to pursue each other’s fiancé, which will require them to mask their identities. The sisters are inconsolable after Don Alfonso tells them that their fiancés have been called away to war, but their maid Despina encourages the women to find new lovers. With Despina’s help, Don Alfonso introduces the sisters to two “infatuated young friends” who are actually Guglielmo and Ferrando in disguise.

Despite a clever ruse, Fiordiligi and Dorabelle reject their advances. After Despina’s second attempt at encouragement, Dorabella responds quickly to the disguised Guglielmo’s advances, while Fiordiligi eventually succumbs to the disguised Ferrando’s declaration of love. The couples are married in a double wedding by Despina, masquerading as a lawyer, when Don Alfonso announces that Ferrando and Guglielmo have returned from battle. The men express horror at the sight of the marriage contracts, but soon reveal the entire charade. David Robertson conducts. Joyce DiDonato hosts. 

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