Cosi Fan Tutte
Comic Opera in two act: by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Text by Da Ponte, newly arranged by Schneider and Devrient
DON FERNANDO and Don Alvar are betrothed to two Andalusian ladies, Rosaura and Isabella.
They loudly praise their ladies’ fidelity, when an old bachelor, named Onofrio, pretends that their sweet hearts are not better than other women and accessible to temptation. The lovers agree to make the trial and promise to do everything which Onofrio dictates. Thereupon they announce to the ladies that they are ordered to Havana with their regiment, and after a tender leave taking, they depart to appear again in another guise, as officers of a strange regiment. Onofrio has won the ladies’ maid, Dolores, to aid in the furtherance of his schemes, and the officers enter beginning at once to make love to Isabella and Rosaura, but each as was before agreed to the others’ affianced.
Of course the ladies reject them and the lovers begin to triumph, when Onofrio prompts them to try another temptation. The strangers, mad with love, pretend to drink poison in the young ladies’ presence. Of course these tender hearted maidens are much aggrieved; they call Dolores, who bids her mistresses hold the patients in their arms; then coming disguised as a physician, she gives them an antidote. By this clumsy subterfuge they excite the ladies’ pity and are nearly successful in their foolish endeavors, when Dolores, pitying the cruelly tested women, reveals the whole plot to them.
Isabella and Rosaura now resolve to enter into the play. They accept the disguised suitors, and even consent to marriage. Dolores appears in the shape of a notary, without being recognized by the men. The marriage contract is signed, and the lovers disappear to return in their true characters, full of righteous contempt. Isabella and Rosaura make believe to be conscience stricken, and for a long while torment and deceive their angry bridegrooms. But at last they grow tired of teasing, present the disguised Dolores, and put their lovers to shame by showing that all was a farce. Of course the gentlemen humbly ask their pardon, and old Onofrio is obliged to own himself beaten.