Aside from "Le nozze di Figaro" and "Don Giovanni", Lorezo Da Ponte also wrote the libretto for "Cosi fan tutte", after a likely inspiration from a contemporary Viennese anecdote and Kaiser Joseph II himself. "Cosi fan tutte" had its grand premiere on the day before Mozart"s 34th birthday, on 26 January 1790, in the Hoftheater in Vienna, where it was a roaring success. Unfortunately, though, it was only performed five times due to the death of Joseph II on 20 February and the subsequent period of court mourning. There would be no further performances of "Cosi" in Vienna until after Mozart"s own death, when it played in the German translation. In spite of the straightforward plot, the opera "Cosi fan tutte" remains, in the words of producer Joachin Herz in 1983, "a fascinating puzzle". Mozart"s psychologizing, moralizing music opens up infinite expanses and levels in this seemingly so transparent operatic subject. This production by the Zurich Opera House had its premiere in February 2000. Cecilia Bartoli made her debut here as Fiordiligi, after having sung the two other "Cosi" roles Despina and Dorabella previously.
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