Così fan tutte - 1979

program cover

UCLA Department of Music
Committee on Fine Arts Productions

Così fan tutte
An Opera in Two Acts

Music by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte

Sung in English
English Translation by Ruth and Thomas Martin

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
April 25, 26, 27, and 28, 1979
8:00 P.M.
Little Theater, Schoenberg Hall


The UCLA Opera Theater has been training young vocalists for the operatic stage for almost thirty years. Founded by Dr. Jan Popper in 1950, UCLA has maintained a tradition of exciting and innovative opera ever since. Students are given intensive musical and dramatic coaching as well as instruction in stage movement, diction, audition techniques and concert procedures. The workshop productions range from standard operatic literature to rarely heard contemporary and Baroque operas. Its present director, Samuel Krachmalnick has led the Opera Theater in productions of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny, Puccini’s La Bohème and Verdi’s La Traviata to public and critical acclaim. Last year, over 6,000 people attended opera at UCLA providing a solid support for the young American singers participating in the unique program at UCLA. Tonight’s production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte is presented in an intimate, tourable setting with two-piano accompaniment.


Act I

Discussing the subject of women’s fidelity, Don Alfonso wagers that he can prove all women are by nature unfaithful. Ferrando and Guglielmo, confident that their sweethearts could never prove false, eagerly accept.

Fiordiligi and her sister Dorabella sing of their love when Don Alfonso enters with the news that their fiances have been called to military duty. Distraught at the thought of separation, the couples promise to be faithful and the boys depart. Hysterical with grief, the ladies cannot tolerate their maid Despina’s somewhat more liberal attitudes toward romance. Don Alfonso bribes Despina enlisting her help in consoling the ladies with some “other admirers” during their sweethearts’ absence. The “other admirers” turn out to be Ferrando and Guglielmo, disguised as Albanians, each madly in love with the other’s partner. The two sisters are scandalized to find strange men in their house and order them to leave. The boys are elated but Don Alfonso warns them that the bet is not yet won.

Alone in their garden, the sisters’ tearful despair is interrupted by the Albanians who pretend to take poison because of the sisters’ coldness. Despina and Alfonso run for medical assistance and the girls resolve begins to weaken. Returning with Doctor Fatalis (actually Despina in disguise) the Albanians are saved by a miracle magnet. The boys recover and, once again, declare their love but the girls angrily refuse their advances.

Act II

Despina urges the ladies to accept the attentions of the Albanians brothers. Dorabella is willing and when Fiordiligi agrees they chose their new partners. Unaware that her Albanian is really Guglielmo, Dorabella exchanges lockets with him and the bet is half won. Fiordiligi is holding fast, even considering joining her sweetheart at the front, but when her Albanian suitor (really Ferrando) threatens suicide, she also gives in.

Now, a double wedding is planned. Alfonso in a Notary (Despina in another disguise) and the ladies sign the marriage contract. Outside maritial strains announce the return of Ferrando and Guglielmo. The girls hide the Albanians and try to deceive their suitors who return without their disguises. Discovering the marriage contract, the boys berate their unfaithful sweethearts, but Alfonso reveals the masquerade and everyone forgives with new promises and new declarations of fidelity. - John Hall

Act I

Scene 1 - A room in a cafe

Scene 2 - A garden at the seashore

Scene 3 - A room in the sister’s home

Scene 4 - A garden

Act II

Scene 1 - A room in the sister’s home

Scene 2 - A garden

Scene 3 - A large hall


Sisters living in Naples
Deborah Aston (27)
Starleigh Goltry (26)
Mary Anges Jones (25, 28)

Judith Boyajian (25)
Susan Grossman (26)
Debra Patchell (27)
Lisa Turetsky (28)

Despina, their chambermaid
Susan Law (27, 28)
Aviva Rosenbloom (25)
Pamela Scanlon (26)

Ferrando, officer betrothed to Dorabella
James Canning (27, 28)
Richard Horne (25)
Terrence Slavin (26)

Guglielmo, officer betrothed to Fiordiligi
Steve J. Berman (25, 28)
James Harris White (26, 27)

Don Alfonso, their mutual friend
Peter Juda (26, 28)
Yoav Steve Paskowitz (25, 27)


Samuel Krachmalnick

Stage Director
John Hall

Set Design
Archie Sharp

Edythe Johnson

Production Manager
Ray Gonzales

Carol Vane

Piano Accompaniment
Peggy Sheffield and Sigrid Wagner

UCLA Opera Workshop

Samuel Krachmalnick

John Hall

Musical Preparation and Coaching
Mario Carta
James Low
Peggy Sheffield
Sigrid Wagner

Coaching Assistant
Anne Rogat
Cathy Ypma

German and French Diction
Sybil Hast

Music Department Coordinator
John Hayes