Così fan tutte

Opera North’s Così Fan Tutte Is Visiting Newcastle Theatre Royal

Opera North returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal (14 and 16 March) with Così fan tutte, Mozart’s mischievous look at the game of love

Così fan tutte is a comic opera that follows two couples after the young men, Ferrando and Guglielmo, misguidedly accept a wager placed by cynical philosopher Don Alfonso that fidelity never lasts when tested.

The self-assured young men are confident in the unwavering loyalty of their fiancés, Dorabella and Fiordiligi – but is this belief misplaced? The scene is set for disguises, surprises, and an unexpected conclusion, all underpinned by some of the most beautiful music Mozart ever wrote.

We caught up with the performers taking on the roles of the lovers who shared some personal connections that make Così particularly special for them.

Così fan tutte

Anthony Gregory, who sings Ferrando, explains:

“I first performed this role in my final year at the Royal College of Music. It was an especially memorable time as I was fortunate enough to meet and work opposite my wife, who’s also an opera singer!”

He still loves performing the role:

“Not only are there numerous sublime musical moments in the opera, but the characters (especially the boys) are also incredibly fun to perform. We spend a lot of the show in disguise playing various tricks and games on the girls!”

For their female counterparts, the fun lies in having a stage sister, particularly as Alexandra (Fiordiligi) and Heather (Dorabella) share the surname Lowe.

As Alexandra explains:

“The Dorabella Fiordiligi bond is always a special one. With Heather, it was very much an instant connection as she’s such a lovely girl but also, as a performer, extremely generous. I love our dynamic on stage: I feel all I need to do is glance over at her to know what she’s thinking. With the same surname, we do wonder whether we’re actually distant relations!”

Alexandra and Heather also described their extravagant 18 century costumes, designed by Tobias Hoheisel.

Così fan tutte

As Heather explains:

“There are many layers to it! There’s the corseted top, the underskirt, the bustle/mini pannier, then the overskirts – which are the most beautiful grey – and an amazing scarf to top it all off and provide a pop of colour.”

Being a Mozart composition, it goes without saying that there are also plenty of amazing musical moments to enjoy. Henry Neill, who sings Guglielmo, tells people to look out for the duet between his character and Dorabella in Act 2:

“It’s a wonderful moment of honesty which is reflected perfectly in the music.”

Alexandra picks out another duet towards the end of the opera:

“I think my favourite has to be the duet between Fernando and Fiordiligi – the music in it is just so emotive.”

For anyone unsure whether this is the opera for them, Anthony encourages them to go for it:

“The music is ravishing – Mozart at his absolute peak. The production is fun, clever and beautiful to look at. It’s sure to be a wonderful evening’s entertainment.”

Così fan tutte plays Newcastle Theatre Royal (14 and 16 March) alongside a double bill of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana paired with Rachmaninov’s Aleko (13 and 15 March).

Anyone new to opera can take advantage of the Try it ON scheme to get two great seats for just £20 each, with £10 tickets available for Under 30s and students. Tickets are available here or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.