Cosi Fan Tutte





In two acts by MOZART.



Text by DA PONTE, newly arranged by L. SCHNEIDER and ED. DEVRIENT.





This opera, though lovely in its way, has never had the success, which

the preceding Figaro and Don Juan attained, and this is due for the

most part to the libretto. In the original text it really shows

female fickleness, and justifies its title. But the more Mozart's

music was admired, the less could one be satisfied with such a

libretto. Schneider and Devrient therefore altered it and in their

version the two female lovers are put to the test, but midway in the

plot it is revealed to them that they are being tried--, with the

result that they feign faithlessness, play the part out and at the

close declare their knowledge, turning the sting against the authors of

the unworthy comedy. The contents may be told shortly.



Don Fernando and Don Alvar are betrothed to two Andalusian ladies,

Rosaura and Isabella.



They loudly praise their ladies' fidelity, when an old bachelor, named

Onofrio, pretends that their sweet-hearts are not better than other

women and accessible to temptation. The lovers agree to make the trial

and promise to do everything which Onofrio dictates. Thereupon they

announce to the ladies, that they are ordered to Havannah with their

regiment, and after a tender leavetaking, they depart to appear again

in another guise, as officers of a strange regiment. Onofrio has won

the ladies-maid, Dolores, to aid in the furtherance of his schemes and

the officers enter, beginning at once to make love to Isabella and

Rosaura, but each, as was before agreed, to the other's affianced.



Of course the ladies reject them, and the lovers begin to triumph, when

Onofrio prompts them to try another temptation. The strangers, mad

with love, pretend to drink poison in the young ladies' presence.

Of course these tenderhearted maidens are much aggrieved; they call

Dolores, who bids her mistresses hold the patients in their arms; then

coming disguised as a physician, she gives them an antidote. By this

clumsy subterfuge they excite the ladies' pity and are nearly

successful in their foolish endeavours, when Dolores, pitying the

cruelly tested women, reveals the whole plot to them.



Isabella and Rosaura now resolve to enter into the play. They accept

the disguised suitors, and even consent to a marriage. Dolores appears

in the shape of a notary, without being recognized by the men. The

marriage-contract is signed, and the lovers disappear to return in

their true characters, full of righteous contempt. Isabella and

Rosaura make believe to be conscience-stricken, and for a long while

torment and deceive their angry bridegrooms. But at last they grow

tired of teasing, they present the disguised Dolores, and they put

their lovers to shame by showing that all was a farce. Of course the

gentlemen humbly ask their pardon, and old Onofrio is obliged to own

himself beaten.





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