You are here

Così fan tutte

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence
25 - 28 August 2016
Festival Theatre

A brand new production of Mozart and da Ponte’s provocative opera, direct from this year’s Aix-en-Provence Festival.

When wily old cynic Don Alfonso bets that the lovers of two young men won’t stay faithful if put to the test, he sets in motion a comical but dangerous game of love, lust and fidelity. Pretending to depart but returning in disguise, the two men find themselves attempting to seduce each other’s fiancée – but will the original couples emerge unscathed from this cruel competition?

Mozart’s sublime score picks apart the themes of trust and deception, loyalty and desire with some of his most passionate and profound music.

Set in east African Eritrea during the 1930s, while still colonised by Italy, this is a provocative and sexually explicit take on Mozart’s opera. Through stark portrayals of the sexual and racial tensions of the time this is a compelling production that tackles challenging issues. 

The production’s exceptional cast includes radiant French soprano Sandrine Piau as comic dogsbody Despina, and leading US baritone Rod Gilfry as Don Alfonso, mastermind of the deception. The quartet of lovers are sung by a superb international ensemble of Lenneke Ruiten, Kate Lindsey, Joel Prieto and Nahuel di Pierro.

Outstanding young French conductor and period performance specialist Jérémie Rhorer conducts the production, with the crisp, incisive playing of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, acclaimed as one of the world’s finest period-instrument ensembles. 

This new production of Mozart and da Ponte’s dissection of the ruthlessness of desire is directed by French writer, film and theatre maker Christophe Honoré, who unflinchingly examines the power relationships between the opera’s characters. Lesser known in the English-speaking world, Honoré is lionised in his native France for his plays, novels and films, sometimes tackling taboo subjects, his name greeted with controversy as well as critical acclaim.

Contains adult themes and nudity

Join the Facebook event

  • Language: 
    Performed in Italian with English supertitles
  • Audio Described:
    Sat 27 Aug 5.00pm
  • Running time: 
    3 hours 30 minutes approximately
  • Touch Tour:
    Sat 27 Aug 3.30pm


Festival Theatre

13-29 Nicolson Street,

Funded by

Edinburgh International Festival Opera Development Fund


  • Touch tour
  • Audio described
  • Share

    Lenneke Ruiten Fiordiligi
    Kate Lindsey 
    Sandrine Piau 
    Joel Prieto 
    Nahuel di Pierro 
    Rod Gilfry 
    Don Alfonso

    Jérémie Rhorer Conductor
    Christophe Honoré Director
    Alban Ho Van Set designer
    Thibault Van Craenenbroeck Costume designer
    Dominique Bruguière Lighting designer

    Freiburger Barockorchester 
    Chorus appear in association with Cape Town Opera

    A production of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. In co-production with Opéra de Lille and Edinburgh International Festival

    More information about some of the artists

    Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

    Lenneke Ruiten 

    Kate Lindsey 

    Joel Prieto 

    Jérémie Rhorer 

    Freiburger Barockorchester

    Cosi fan tutte | The Stage

    August 26th 2016

    Brutal, challenging production that uses a sublime account of Mozart's music to nail home its point - ★★★★★

    Read full review

    Review by: 

    Thom Dibdin

    The Stage

    Cosi fan tutte | The Stage

    August 26th 2016

    Sublime musicianship collides with a staging that is about as close to the bone as you can get in this compelling, heart-rending take on Cosi Fan Tutte - ★★★★★

    Read full review

    Review by: 

    Thom Dibdin

     The Stage

    Cosi fan tutte | The Conversation

    August 27th 2016

    Honoré’s update of Mozart has important things to say about women and race. It is exactly what opera should be all about

    Read full review

    Review by: 

    The Conversation

    Image: Antoine D'Agata Magnum Photography

    This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book.

    The 2018 International Festival will be available to browse online in the spring.


    Dress circle: £95 £80 £60 £50 £20
    Stalls: £95 £80 £60 £50 £35 £20
    Upper circle: £50 £35 £20

    Current discounts

    Students: 30% off
    Senior citizens: 30% off
    Unemployed: 30% off
    BECTU, Equity, MU: 30% off
    Under 18s: 50% off
    Young Scot cardholders: 50% off