Director P Burton-Morgan
Associate Director Clare Packham
Designer Chantal Short
Conductor Orlando Jopling
English translation by Jeremy Sams (right), in a new version for Wild Arts 2022
Fiordiligi Ella Taylor
Dorabella Martha Jones (photo)
Despina Joanna Songi
Ferrando Richard Dowling
Guglielmo Gareth Brynmor John
Don Alfonso Eddie Wade
A new realisation of the orchestral score by Orlando Jopling will be performed by the Wild Arts Ensemble
Violin Sijie Chen
Oboe William Ball
Viola Christine Anderson
Bassoon Hugh Woolley
Horn Caoime Glavin
Double Bass Ben Griffiths
Fortepiano Masumi Yamamoto
Pianist for London production rehearsals Satoshi Kubo
Project manager Claudia Maria Hipler
Cook for the Essex Summer Opera Festival Tilly de Willebois
Production assistant Tarina Mair
1970s Cambridge. A bunch of buttoned up students are about to get a tutorial in fidelity ...
Wild Arts' fast-paced, entertaining version of Mozart's Così fan tutte is getting great feedback from their tour, and is coming to two fabulous venues, Layer Marney Tower in Essex and Childerley Hall in Cambridgeshire.
A wonderful evening last night. The whole event was a pure joy. It was a privilege to have been there. We travelled home on a cloud.
The shows take place in the beautiful newly renovated barn at Layer Marney Tower on 7 - 10 July, and Childerley Hall on Friday 15 July (almost sold out).
Everyone is welcome - bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful gardens and grounds.
At just 1 hour 40 minutes, the storytelling is nimble, the recits trimmed, and the comedy extremely un-operatic! A lighthearted, romantic production for our times, suitable for all ages.
Expect flowery shirts, serious flares, rock stars, and more ...
We thought last night was an absolute delight from beginning to end…. As for the music — we left feeling utterly elated. What a joy to be listening to marvellous singing in such an atmosphere. The orchestra was brilliant.
“Bright and smooth with clear diction, he powered through... with easy lyricism.” – Bachtrack
Tenor Richard Dowling has performed in Buxton International Festival, Birmingham Opera Company and Garsington Opera. He appeared in a number of innovative online broadcasts during the pandemic lockdown period, including a dystopian staging of Josquin’s madrigals.
“John’s clarity, warmth and even spread held us gripped from the beginning.” – The Times
Baritone Gareth Brynmor John is the winner of the 2013 Kathleen Ferrier Award. He studied at St John’s College, Cambridge and the National Opera Studio where he was supported by the Royal Opera House.
“Outstanding performances from Martha Jones” – The Guardian
Mezzo-soprano Martha Jones was awarded the Susan Chilcott Scholarship by the Royal Philharmonic Society. She has appeared with English Touring Opera, English National Opera and Grange Festival.
“Meltingly beautiful” – Gramophone
Joanna Songi is a soprano working across opera, oratorio, song and theatre. A graduate of the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University, she was a Britten Pears Young Artist.
“Terrifically emotive and dramatic singing, absolutely commanding one’s attention.” – Opera Today
Winner of Second Prize at the 2020 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Ella Taylor is a soprano with a passion for performing contemporary music and works by women and gender non-conforming artists.
“Eddie Wade ... sang with style and panache.” – The Telegraph
Baritone Eddie Wade won First Prize and the Verdi/Wagner Prize at the National Mozart Competition in 1996 and made his Covent Garden debut the same year. He has worked with leading conductors, including Charles Mackerras, Mark Elder, Esa Pekka Salonen and Antonio Pappano.
Professor of Philosophy Don Alfonso is schooling bookish undergrads, Ferrando and Guglielmo in the art of love. He bets them that their sweethearts can be tricked into betraying the young students.
Meanwhile the sweethearts in question, sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, are in their dorm rooms, pining with love and planning some mischief.
Don Alfonso feigns a secret spy mission that calls the boys abroad, and the sisters are left alone and bereft, whilst their fellow student Despina, who moonlights as a chambermaid for the extra cash, attempts to give them a consciousness raising education into the infidelity of students and a healthy modern attitude to sex and relationships.
Don Alfonso enlists a skint Despina to help his 'friends', two extravagantly dressed rock stars (really Ferrando and Guglielmo in disguise) to woo the lovelorn sisters, who resist firmly. But once the rock stars return, having pretended to swallow poison out of love for the sisters, their icy exteriors begin to thaw, with a little help from a spiritualist crystal healer (Despina in disguise) who resurrects the poisoned lovers with some good vibrations. But they are still wildly too forward, far more forward than their nerdy sweethearts had ever dared to be, and the sisters shoo them away with student protest placards.
Despina continues her sexual education of the sisters, imploring them to loosen up, have a little fun while their boyfriends are abroad. They relent and decide to dally with the rock stars. Walking the leafy arbours of Cambridge Botanical gardens Dorabella succumbs to Guglielmo's considerable charm, accepting the offer of a heart pendant replacing her locket of Ferrando, and following him into the bushes.
Meanwhile steadfast Fiordiligi continues to spurn Ferrando's advances although he and she are quickly falling for eachother in a profound way which surprises both of them. Ferrando makes one final heartfelt attempt to woo the pious Fiordiligi who finally relents. Guglielmo is raging, Don Alfonso is delighted (having won his bet and proved his point) and Ferrando is wildly confused - torn between his burgeoning love for Fiordiligi and his hurt pride at Dorabella's betrayal.
Don Alfonso resolves that they must marry their original sweethearts but not before one last trick to expose the sisters' betrayal. Mid wedding to the rock stars - with trainee barrister presiding over the events (law student Despina in yet another disguise) Don Alfonso declares the arrival of the undergrads. The sisters are distraught but all is revealed, all is forgiven and the lovers are reunited - following through with their wedding vows and making up. Peace and love will win the day once more.
We will pick you up from Witham station (and take you back there) in this vintage Routemaster bus, for the Saturday and Sunday performances.
There's no cost to you - it's all part of our commitment to making fantastic opera available to everyone, and attempting to live within planetary boundaries.