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Opera Saratoga Opens Season with Mozart’s Comic “Così fan Tutte”

June 28 @ 8:30 PM - July 6 @ 10:00 PM


La Scuola degli Amanti – The School for Lovers – was always the subtitle of Mozart’s and librettist Lorenzo da Ponte’s third collaboration together, Così fan Tutte. Director Gisela Cardenas and Conductor Ryan McAdams bring this comic opera to life at Universal Preservation Hall in downtown Saratoga Springs.

More appropriately for Opera Saratoga’s thematic season, we could call Così The School for Gambles, as all of the main characters wage bets against one another in one form or another, assuming the worst of human nature and testing the limits of friendships and relationships in this famous comic opera.

The story is about two young couples, Ferrando (Maximillian Jansen) and Dorabella (Anna Kelly), and Guglielmo (Michael J. Hawk) and Fiordiligi (Julia Stuart), whose relationships are put to the test by their older friend Don Alfonso (Grammy-nominated Aubrey Allicock). Don Alfonso, a cynical philosopher, bets the men that their fiancées will cheat on them if they follow his instructions for a day. He tells the women that the men have gone to war and sends two disguised versions of the men to try to win the women over. Eventually, the lovers come clean about the entire bet and the foursome have to choose whether to forgive and how to move on. The opera explores themes of love, loyalty, and friendship, and how vulnerable love can be.

Even if Così sometimes speeds along as a lighthearted comic opera (or buffo), in conductor Ryan McAdams’ view, it should more properly be considered a dramma giocoso, which he described in a recent interview as “a very serious drama with jokes.” As he put it “Mozart wanted us to take these feelings and emotions very seriously. And I still come away with unanswered questions — about how human beings desire each other, and reconsider who they are and who they can be in the context of those desires.” For him, these reconsiderations become “almost existential” by the opera’s finale.

“This season pays homage to Saratoga Springs’ history as a pleasure-seeker’s paradise and betting destination while looking to the future by pushing the definition of what opera can be — and how it can be made — forward,” said Mary Birnbaum, General and Artistic Director, “We hope to tempt risk-takers to the festival by dazzling them with reinventions of classics.”


June 28, 7:30 pm

June 30, 2 pm

July 3, 2 pm

July 6, 7:30 pm


Universal Preservation Hall

25 Washington Street

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit operasaratoga.org

About Opera Saratoga:

Opera Saratoga, formerly known as Lake George Opera, began with a production of Die Fledermaus at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230. The Company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually. Opera Saratoga celebrates its 60th Anniversary this season. The company serves the communities of Saratoga Springs, the Lower Adirondack and New York State Capital areas by providing access to world-class opera through the production of an annual Summer Festival, as well as year-round activities including extensive educational programs, mentorship of emerging operatic artists, and unique opportunities for the public to experience opera in both our home theater and non-traditional venues that leverage and embrace the unique cultural, historic, and natural resources of the area. To date, the company has performed 106 different fully staged works by 66 different composers, including 42 works by American composers and 14 premiere productions. In 2023, the company hired its 10th Artistic and General Director, Mary Birnbaum.


June 28 @ 8:30 PM
July 6 @ 10:00 PM


Universal Preservation Hall
25 Washington Street
Saratoga Springs, 12866 United States
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