Preloader Operavision
La Monnaie / De Munt
19.03.2020 at 19h00 CET
Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 19:00

La Monnaie / De Munt

Così fan tutte

...Or the school for lovers (M/F/X)

Operas | Mozart

The two friends Guglielmo and Ferrando believe their fiancées Fiordiligi and Dorabella are paragons of constancy. Enter Don Alfonso with the ultimate reality test: stage your departure and return in disguise to seduce each other’s partner.


La Monnaie takes up the challenge to stage the three operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte together in the form of a trilogy. While each of these masterpieces can be viewed independently of the others, the directors Clarac-Delœuil > le lab and conductor Antonello Manacorda have reimagined Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni jointly as one single work. A human comedy in three parts, presenting a large number of interlinked characters and plots.

Sung in Italian

The live performance will be subtitled in English. French and German subtitles available soon after the livestream with possibility of auto-translation into more than a hundred other languages.

Available from
19.03.2020 at 19h00 CET

Available until
18.09.2020 at 12h00 CET

FiordiligiLenneke Ruiten
DorabellaGinger Costa-Jackson
GuglielmoIurii Samoilov
FerrandoJuan Francisco Gatell
DespinaCaterina Di Tonno
Don AlfonsoRiccardo Novaro

MusicWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
TextLorenzo Da Ponte
ConductorAntonello Manacorda
Set DesignerRick Martin
Lighting DesignerChristophe Pitoiset
Chorus MasterAlberto Moro
DramaturgLuc Bourrousse
Video DirectorJean-Baptiste Beïs & Timothée Buisson
Directors and costumesJean-Philippe Clarac & Olivier Deloeuil (Clarac-Deloeuil > Le Lab)
Orchestra and ChorusLa Monnaie Symphony
Artistic collaboratorLodie Kardouss
GraphicsJulien Roques

Act I

Ferrando and Guglielmo, two young firefighters, complete a night's duty in their barracks when a siren goes off. They put on their outfits and rush into a truck. Arriving at the scene, Ferrando and Guglielmo evacuate the body of the Commander, an elderly notary, who has been found dead in his office. The study is located in their fiancée’s building. Their fiancées, the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, are social network influencers. Ferrando and Guglielmo talk to Alfonso, an elderly genderqueer philosopher. Their discussion focuses on the alleged natural infidelity of women and the naivety specific to men. Alfonso offers a bet to Guglielmo and Ferrando. They accept and swear to do whatever Alfonso asks of them.

Alfonso arrives in the sisters' room, announcing that their fiancés must go on a mission. They ask to see them. Ferrando and Guglielmo, who were listening to the discussion from a nearby staircase, enter the room to say goodbye. Alfonso and the two sisters watch them go. Leaving Dorabella and Fiordiligi, Alfonso returns to their street library and congratulates themself on their conspiracy.

In her shop, Despina complains to her employee Zerlina and the Countess Almaviva, who has come to buy an elegant blue dress. Alfonso prowls around the store. Fiordiligi and Dorabella arrive in the shop, depressed by the departure of their fiancés. Despina advises Dorabella and Fiordiligi to never trust men and to use them only to satisfy their own desires. The sisters leave the store, refusing to listen to Despina any more. Despina joins Alfonso and accepts the deal they offers her. Ferrando and Guglielmo enter the store, wearing Turkish Galatasaray football team jerseys. They adopt exaggerated manly attitudes, much to Despina's amusement. Dorabella and Fiordiligi return to the store. Alfonso pretends to recognize two old friends. The sisters, amazed, are sorry that their fiancés agree to participate in such a masquerade and slap them. But the two boys want to play the game until the end: Guglielmo declares his love for Dorabella. The sisters leave the place.

Alfonso, Ferrando and Guglielmo continue their discussion. Ferrando is delighted to see that his fiancée is faithful to him. An employee of the late Commander, the notary clerk Curzio, arrives in the store. He shows several marriage contracts to Alfonso, who consults them before making any changes. Despina and Alfonso take stock of the situation, and Despina decides to take matters into their own hands.

Accompanied by Alfonso, Ferrando and Guglielmo join the sisters on the rooftop terrace. The fiancés pretend to drink the bleach forgotten by the cleaner Barbarina and pass out. Fiordiligi and Dorabella call Despina for help. Despina, dressed as a doctor, magnetizes the two boys in Elvira’s ophthalmology office. Guglielmo and Ferrando pretend to regain consciousness and not recognize anyone. Confused, Dorabella and Fiordiligi would like to kiss them, but push them violently away.

Act II

In the clothing store, employee Zerlina puts on her wedding dress. Meanwhile, Despina advises Dorabella and Fiordiligi to have fun at the expense of their fiancés. The sisters decide to divide the two suitors, one choosing the blonde, the other the brown.

Guglielmo and Ferrando sing the serenade suggested by Alfonso on the building’s balcony. The two sisters are shocked to find that their fiancés agree to play Alfonso’s cynical game once again. Not without difficulty, Despina and Alfonso match the new couples - Dorabella with Guglielmo, Fiordiligi with Ferrando - and leave. The four young people remain alone, embarrassed. Fiordiligi offers Ferrando a walk on the rooftop terrace. Dorabella takes Guglielmo to her bunk room and gives herself to him. Fiordiligi is more reluctant and hesitates. Ferrando is secretly delighted and leaves her alone.

Ferrando and Guglielmo argue near the entrance of a private club. Inside, they find Alfonso. Ferrando sulks in a corner: having learned that Dorabella has given in to Guglielmo, he blames all women. Alfonso announces to the boys that they still have a test to pass. In her store, Despina is thrilled to find that Dorabella is finally ready to have fun at the boys’ expense. Fiordiligi, however, still hesitates. Alone in the shop, she plans to join her fiancé. Alfonso then pushes Ferrando to burst into the shop wearing his firefighter uniform. Fiordiligi gives in to his advances. Guglielmo sees the scene, totally helpless. In front of the building, Ferrando and Guglielmo fight. Alfonso tries to intervene. They proposes the day’s outcome: all women are unfaithful. They should be forgiven rather than blamed.

In front of the building, Despina announces to Ferrando and Guglielmo that the sisters are ready to get married. In the notarial study, the clerk Curzio finishes correcting the false marriage contracts according to Alfonso's indications. The false marriage contracts are signed, Despina playing the role of the notary.

A crowd in the distance cheers the returning firefighters. Alfonso and Despina hurriedly hide the two young men, who then return as if from their mission. When Alfonso shows them the signed contracts, Ferrando and Guglielmo admit to having been duped by his scheme to the end. This conclusion is very bitter for the four young people, who do not emerge unscathed from this day.