Yale Opera stages Mozart’s tale about 'mixed-up' couples

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Yale Opera will present a new production of Mozart’s famed “Così Fan Tutte” Feb. 17-19 at the Shubert Theatre.

In “Così Fan Tutte,” two young officers trust in the faithfulness of their fiancées, but their confidence is shaken after a cynical old man, Don Alfonso, bets them that he can prove — in a day’s time — how fickle all women are, including their beloveds. The opera is set in Naples in the late 18th century, and was first performed in 1790 in Vienna, Austria.

Directing the show will be Chas Rader-Shieber. Scenic and costume design is by John Carver Sullivan. Guiuseppe Grazioli will conduct the Yale Philharmonia for the performances.

Doris Yarick-Cross, the longtime artistic director of Yale Opera, says that one reason she chose Mozart’s work is because the opera allows nearly all of the singers in her program to take on a role.

“Finding the opera repertoire for our singers to perform is probably the most difficult and complicated single task I face each year,” she is quoted as saying on the Yale School of Music Facebook page. “The Yale Opera program has 16 singers, all in need of professional experience, so it does not work to hold ‘in house’ auditions, as is done in larger schools that have a large group of voice majors to choose from. Instead, I feel obligated to give each of our singers the opportunity to sing important roles and have the experience of learning to perform roles on stage convincingly with control of the musical phrases, with control not only of their voices, but of their bodies, and to be able to convince the audience of the character they are portraying. Add to that the foreign languages they have to sing in and offer convincingly to their audiences. It is a gargantuan responsibility, which I take very seriously. Fortunately, we can double-cast operas that we do in the Shubert Theater and this year only three of our singers are not involved in this production of ‘Così fan tutte’. They still need to have the same experience as the others, so I have chosen two one-act operas for the spring production that will serve them equally as well, ‘The Bear’ (Walton) and ‘Le pauvre matelot’ (Milhaud).’

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Shubert Theatre is located at 247 College St. in New Haven. For tickets, call 203-562-5666 or order online.

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Media Contact

Donna Yoo: donna.yoo@yale.edu,