1930’s American Country Club is Perfect Set for SFO’s “Cosi”

San Francisco Opera presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 1790 comedy Così fan tutte from November 21–December 3.

Director Michael Cavanagh’s new production, part two of the Company’s Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy, sets the opera’s amorous deceptions and confusions in a 1930s American country club.

Henrik Nánási returns to the podium to conduct an ensemble cast of sopranos Nicole Cabell and Nicole Heaston, mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts, tenor Ben Bliss in his Company debut, baritone John Brancy and bass Ferruccio Furlanetto.

In addition to tickets for the five performances at the War Memorial Opera House, virtual tickets are now available to livestream the first three performances on November 21 (2 pm), 23 (7:30 pm) and 27 (7:30 pm); all times Pacific.

Così fan tutte follows two friends, Ferrando and Guglielmo, who are so convinced of their fiancées’ devotion that they are willing to bet on it, disguising themselves as strangers to test the women’s fidelity. Humorous and, at times, deeply poignant, the opera features one of Mozart’s most heartfelt scores with arias and ensembles that reveal the characters’ humanity as they navigate ecstatic reveries and bitter disenchantments.

Cavanagh’s Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy sets the three masterpieces produced by the partnership of Mozart and Italian poet Lorenzo Da Ponte within an American house over three eras. The multi-season project launched in 2019 with the acclaimed production of The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) set in colonial times when the manor house is newly completed. Così fan tutte takes place in the 1930s and the house, now at its zenith, has been converted into a playground for the rich. Next summer, the trilogy concludes with Don Giovanni, set in a distant future where the house is in ruins and its inhabitants navigate an uncertain world.

Though not originally conceived by Mozart and Da Ponte as a trilogy, Cavanagh and the creative team of set designer Erhard Rom, costume designer Constance Hoffman and lighting designer Jane Cox have found storytelling possibilities in considering these three foundational works of the opera repertory as a unified arc.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the five performances of Così fan tutte are scheduled for November 21 (2 pm), November 23 (7:30 pm), November 27 (7:30 pm); December 1 (7:30 pm) and December 3 (7:30 pm). Virtual tickets are available to livestream the first three performances (November 21, 23 and 27) enabling audiences to experience San Francisco Opera from anywhere in the world. Each livestreamed performance will be presented live only; on-demand is not available.