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 Maltman as mastermind Don Alfonso. Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben 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.
• Kelli O’Hara – Despina
• Christopher Maltman – Don Alfonso
• Amanda Majeski – Fiordiligi
• Serena Malfi – Dorabella
• Ben Bliss – Ferrando
• Adam Plachetka – Guglielmo
• Joyce DiDonato – Host
Run time: 3.5 hours
• David Robertson – Conductor
• Phelim McDermott – Production
• Tom Pye – Set Designer
• Laura Hopkins – Costume Designer
• Paule Constable – Lighting Designer
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. David Frost is music producer. Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are supervising producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are producers. Peter Gelb is executive producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Major funding for the Met Opera presentation is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
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About the Met Print
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA is America’s leading performing arts organization and a vibrant home for the world’s most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers. The company presents more than 200 performances each season of a wide variety of operas, ranging from early masterpieces to contemporary works. In recent years, the Met has launched many initiatives designed to make opera more accessible, most prominently the Live in HD series of cinema transmissions, which dramatically expands the Met audience by allowing select performances to be seen in more than 2,000 theaters in more than 70 countries around the world.