Will (she) still love me tomorrow? That’s the question on the lips of the soldiers, as they enter a bet with the barman over the faithfulness of their fiancées. A hilarious farce full of disguise, deception and desire – and some of Mozart’s best music – this comic opera will leave you warm inside even if it’s cold outside.
performed in Italian, with English subtitles
Sat 11 March 2023, 6.30pm
Temple Speech Room, Rugby
Director: Richard Tegid Jones
Musical Director: Ashley Beauchamp
The opera takes place in a beach town by the Mediterranean Sea. Two soldiers (Ferrando and Guglielmo) are stationed at the nearby army base. They have recently hooked up with two holidaymaking sisters (Dorabella & Fiordiligi, respectively) and – all having declared their undying love for each other – they are now engaged.
The soldiers argue with the local barman (Don Alfonso) that their fiancées will be eternally faithful. Don Alfonso is sceptical and claims that there is no such thing as a faithful woman. He lays a wager with the two men; that he can prove within one day that those two, like all women, are fickle. The wager is accepted.
The women are sitting around the pool, praising their men, when Alfonso arrives to announce that their lovers have been called off to war. Ferrando and Guglielmo arrive, broken-hearted, and bid them farewell. As the young ladies wave their men goodbye Despina, the barmaid, arrives and mocks the sisters, advising them to take new lovers while their men are away. After the sisters leave, Alfonso arrives, and persuades Despina to help him win the bet.
The two men then return, disguised as mustachioed locals. The sisters enter and are alarmed by the presence of strange men by the pool. The “locals” tell the sisters that they were led there by love. They attempt to win over the sisters’ hearts, but to no avail as the the sisters refuse to be unfaithful to their fiances.
After this failure, Despina takes over the seduction plan. Suddenly, the “locals” burst in and threaten to poison themselves if they are not allowed the chance to woo the sisters. As Alfonso tries to calm them, they drink the “poison” and pretend to pass out. Then a “doctor” (Despina in disguise) arrives and, using healing crystals, is able to revive the “locals”. The men, pretending to hallucinate, demand a kiss from Dorabella and Fiordiligi who stand before them. The sisters refuse, even as Alfonso and the doctor (Despina) urge them to give in.
Despina urges them to succumb to the “locals”. Dorabella confesses to Fiordiligi that she is tempted, and the two agree that a mere flirtation will do no harm – it will help them pass the time while they wait for their lovers to return
That evening, Dorabella and the disguised Guglielmo pair off, as do the other two. Soon Dorabella has given Guglielmo a medallion (with Ferrando’s portrait inside) in exchange for a heart-shaped locket. Ferrando is less successful with Fiordiligi, so he is enraged when he later finds out that the medallion with his portrait has been so quickly given away to a new lover.
Dorabella admits her indiscretion to Fiordiligi. Upset by this development, Fioridligi is about to go to the army and find her beloved. Before she can leave, though, Ferrando arrives and continues his attempted seduction. Fiordiligi finally succumbs and falls into his arms. Guglielmo is distraught while Ferrando turns Guglielmo’s earlier gloating back on him. Alfonso, winner of the wager, tells the men to forgive their fiancées. After all: “Così fan tutte”—”All women are like that”.
The opera ends with a double wedding for the sisters and their “local” grooms. Despina, now disguised as a Notary, presents the marriage contract, which only the ladies sign. Immediately, they hear military music in the distance, indicating the return of the soldiers. Alfonso confirms the sisters’ fears: Ferrando and Guglielmo are on their way to the house. The “locals” hurry off to hide (actually, to change out of their disguises). They return as the soldiers, professing their love. Will the sisters be forgiven? And who will end up with whom?
Fiordiligi – Susie Gibbons
Dublin-born soprano Susie Gibbons graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music with a Master of Performance as a Sussex Scholar in 2021, under the tutelage of Amanda Roocroft and coach, Andrew Robinson.
Susie recently made her debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as a finalist in Opera Festival Scotland’s inaugural Young Artist Singing Competition. For the 21/22 season Susie joined the English National Opera Chorus for their production of The Handmaid’s Tale in April 2022. Susie was also an Alvarez Young
Artist with Garsington Opera performing in the chorus for Cosí fan
Tutte and Rusalka.
Susie has performed the roles of Dido (Dido and Aeneas; Smock Alley Theatre) and The Sleeping Queen (The Sleeping Queen by William Balfe; Blackwater Valley Opera Festival; Mananan International Festival) . For scenes, she has performed the roles of Fiordiligi (RCM), Bella (RCM), Aricie (RCM), Héro (TU Dublin) and Poppea (TU Dublin). Susie has also participated in masterclasses with Dame Ann Murray, Celine Byrne and Tara Erraught.
Susie is the winner of the Bernadette Greevy Bursary and Mahler Prize, presented by the National Concert Hall, Dublin in 2019. Having originally studied psychology at University College Dublin Susie turned her attention to her singing studies in 2016 and enrolled as a part-time student at the TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama.
Dorabella – Anna Cooper
Anna graduated from the RCM Opera Studio in 2020 supported by Stephen Catto fund & Help Musicians UK. Most recently Anna performed the role of Olga in Opera Holland Park’s Young artist programme of Eugene Onegin. She also premiered the role of Suzanna in Joseph Howard’s Behind God’s Back at the tête-à-tête festival. Other operatic roles include Ernestina L’occasione fa il ladro (BYO at OHP), Concepcion L’heure Espagnole (RCMIOS), Lisetta il mondo della luna (RCMIOS), Dinah Trouble in Tahiti (RCMIOS), Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro (RCMIOS) directed by Sir Thomas Allen and
Tisbe La Cenerentola (BYO & Random Opera Co.). Anna has just finished touring with Glyndebourne this autumn. On the concert platform Anna has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Anna won the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2021 and was also a prize winner for the AESS Patricia Routledge and Brooks-Van der Pump English Song Competitions.
Despina – Rebecca Madden
Becca Madden is a Rugby based soprano who has recently graduated with a Masters in Vocal Performance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she studied under Joan Rodgers.
She first studied Aeronautical Engineering at Durham University where she sang regularly with Durham Opera Ensemble. She was awarded a place at Samling Academy in both 2013 and 2014 and performed as Cis (Albert Herring) and Un pâtre & La chouette (L’enfants et les sortilèges) at Sage, Gateshead with Samling Academy Opera.
Becca moved to the Midlands in 2016 where she continued her studies with Mike Dewis. She performed several roles with Stanley Opera & Knighton Opera, including Sister Genoviffa (Sour Angelica), Innes (Il Trovatore), Tisbe (La Cenerentola), and Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro). At college she studied several roles including Ciboletta (Eine Nacht in Venedig), Nina (Chérubin) and Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors). Becca is currently a regular performer with Random Opera, performing Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore) in 2021 and Ännchen (Der Freischütz) in 2022.
Ferrando – Jorge Carlo Mariani
Mexican tenor Jorge Carlo Mariani studied at the Royal Conservatory Ghent working together with Gidon Saks and Marcos Pujol. He was also part of Rossini Opera Academy in Pesaro working with Juan Diego Florez. He was part of Ars Vocalis Mexico in 2013, and Vienna Mastercourse in 2014.
In 2018/2019 he was invited to sing in the Estonia National Opera, the Duke from Rigoletto and Romeo from Romeo & Juliette. In the summers of 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022, he was invited to the Bayreuther Festspiele to combine solo and choir work under the baton of Christian Thielemann. In 2015 he was part of the production of the Mussorgsky Opera Khovanshina in the Dutch National Opera under the baton of Ingo Metzmacher. Mariani worked together with Dirk Brosse and Ivo Venkov in the Concertgebouw Brugge and Palais des Beaux Arts singing in the concert celebrating 200 years of independence of Mexico.
In 2021/22 Mariana was in Theater Dortmund for his second year singing Gastone in La Traviata under the baton of Gabriel Feltz and Motonori Kobayashi. Other operatic roles include Alvar in Fernánd Cortez by Spontini, Peter Quint from Turn of the Screw; Marzio from Mitridate Re di Ponto; Rinaldo from Armida; Tamino from Die Zauberflöte; Masaniello in La Muette de Portici.
Guglielmo – Mike Dewis
Michael Dewis studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. He studied with Rudolph Piernay, David Pollard and currently studies with David Barrell.
He has sung at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Opera Holland Park and Longborough Festival Opera in roles including Prince Afron (Le Coq d’Or), Flemish Deputy (Don Carlos), Zurga (The Pearl Fishers), Germont Père (La Traviata), Giacomo (Giovanna d’Arco), Belcore (The Elixir of Love), Renato (Un Ballo in Maschera), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Sid (Albert Herring) Marcello (La Bohème) and Il Conte (Le Nozze di Figaro).
Abroad he has sung widely in Europe, including four years as Principal Baritone in the Stadttheater Bremerhaven. Roles abroad have included Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Marcello (Bohème), Valentin (Faust), Di Luna (Il Trovatore) Renato (Un Ballo in Maschera) Che (Evita) and many others. For the Wexford Festival he has sung Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) and Jack Rance (La Fanciulla del West).
On the concert platform he has sung all of the main choral works with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Sinfonietta and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra in all of the major concert venues in Great Britain (Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, The Barbican etc). He is a specialist of German Lieder, is a German speaker and appears regularly for the Schubert Society of Great Britain.
Don Alfonso – Richard Tegid Jones
Welsh Bass-Baritone Richard Tegid Jones studied music from an early age. He also gave up his studies at an early age, feeling that Grade 2 violin was sufficient achievement. Since then he has mostly been winging it.
Alongside a career in accountancy, Richard began performing on the amateur stage in 2003, with roles including Pooh-Bah (Mikado), Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Ruddigore), Sir Joseph Porter (HMS Pinafore) and Duke of Plaza-Toro (Gondoliers).
After starting Random Opera Company on a whim in 2011, Richard began training privately – first with Alison Roddy, and then with Mike Dewis – and has performed roles including Rodolfo (La Sonnambula), Hermit (Der Freischütz), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale) and Zuniga (Carmen).
As well as performing, directing & producing opera for Random Opera Company, Richard is also a Volunteer Director of OperaUK.
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