Cosi fan tutte

Performances are at Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Preparatory School
425 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131

 

To read our reviews of Cosi fan tutte, Click HERE!

 

The first performance of Cosi fan tutte took place at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 26 January 1790.

Photos from Cosi fan tutte 

By Riq Dilly

Cast

Gina Galati Headshot 1Gina Galati, Fiordiligi

“Sweet and appealing.” “Vocally light and free like a lovely bird.” “Passionate and vocally impressive.” “A clear, rich voice that handles the coloratura with apparent ease.” Reviewers across the country and around the world are singing the praises of Italian-American soprano Gina Galati, whose flexible yet powerful voice and dramatic range have won her critical acclaim and a growing repertoire of leading roles. In 2015, she was nominated for a prestigious Miami Life Award as Best Lyric Singer for her recent performance in Don Pasquale at the Miami Lyric Opera.  Ms. Galati made her professional debut as Musetta with the Wichita Grand Opera, and quickly emerged as a featured performer whose career highlights include Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Mimì and Musetta in La Bohème, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Norina in Don Pasquale, Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, Suzel in L’Amico Fritz, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Baby Doe in The Ballad of Baby Doe. Other outstanding highlights of her career include the role of Alexandria in the world premiere of O Pioneers by Barbara Harbach at the Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Violetta in La Traviata, Fiordiligi in Cosí fan tutte and the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro. As the Founder and General Director of Winter Opera St. Louis, Ms. Galati still maintains an active career singing in St. Louis and throughout the country, she has performed worldwide with the Miami Lyric Opera, Opera Naples, Opera Medellin in Columbia, Opera Prolirica in South America, Union Avenue Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Opera Company Brooklyn, the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, the Black Hills Vocal Festival, and many other regional opera companies. Ms. Galati received a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Music from Washington University and a Masters of Opera from the University of Kansas. She also earned an Artist Diploma from the Academia Verdiana in Bussetto, Italy. While there, she studied with world-renowned tenor and mentor Signore Carlo Bergonzi. In recognition of her vocal and musical talents, Ms. Galati was invited by to perform numerous concerts throughout northern Italy.  She has also performed with the St. Louis Symphony as the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and soloed with The St. Louis Bach Society, The Gateway Men’s Chorus and the Compton Heights Concert Band.Ms. Galati also takes an active role in singing for many charitable organizations, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Logos School, and Habitat for Humanity, among others. Her efforts have raised thousands of dollars for charities that benefit the St. Louis community.

danielgerdesDaniel Gerdes, Ferrando

Daniel Gerdes, tenor, a native of Islip, New York, received his B.M. in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, his M.M. in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory and completed his D.M.A in Vocal Performance from Florida State University.  He made his international debut as Paride in Gluck’s Paride ed Elena with Opera Piccola Bremen in Germany. He was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where he covered the role of Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio and returned to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to sing the role of Spirit of the Masque in Britten’s’ Gloriana, as well as Borsa in Rigoletto. Mr. Gerdes was a young artist with The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where he covered the role of Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He covered the role of Count Libenskof in Il Viaggio a Reims with New York City Opera. He sang the tenor solos in Carmina Burana with the Tupelo Symphony, and the Evangelist in Bach’s Johannes Passion with the Florida State University Symphony. He sang A Man with a Paint Box in Postcard from Morocco, Dr. S in Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Tamino in The Magic Flute, and Il Conte d’Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Boston University Opera Institute. He returned to Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice and sang the role of Benedict in Béatrice et Bénédict in the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice scene program.  Daniel Gerdes lives in South Florida with his loving wife, daughter and son.

lilyLily Guerrero, Despina

Lily Guerrero is a lyric coloratura soprano from Grand Rapids, Michigan.Recent performances include Tebaldo (Don Carlo) with Wichita Grand Opera, Araminta (Retained on Both Sides) with Opera Kansas, and Papagena(Die Zauberflöte) with Opera Grand Rapids. Other roles include Musetta (LaBohème), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Suor Genoveffa (Suor Angelica), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Manuelita/Berginella (La Périchole), and the title role in Susannah. Hailed by the Grand Rapids Press as “spunky,” she was the winner of the Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Wichita State Concerto Competition, the National Opera Association Opera Scenes Competition, the Opera Grand Rapids Vocal Competition, and is a two time Koch Cultural Trust Grant recipient. She was also a regional winner of the Classical Singer Competition, a finalist in the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition, and 2nd place at the Naftzger Young Artist Competition.

 

holmesChristopher Holmes, Guglielmo

Christopher Holmes, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte: A “powerful, melodious baritone” with “soul and passion” is a small sample of enthusiastic reviews being received by baritone CHRISTOPHER HOLMES. Outstanding musicianship and a rapidly expanding repertoire are quickly establishing this baritone as an artist in demand.  With over 35 operatic roles to his credit, Christopher has been featured by companies such as Austin Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, Eugene Opera, Opera Idaho, Phoenix Opera, San Antonio Opera, Utah Symphony and Opera, and Utah Festival Opera.  As a full-lyric baritone, Holmes is beginning to make his mark in the Verdi repertoire with such roles as DI LUNA, RENATO, and RIGOLETTO.   As IAGO with Winter Opera St. Louis critics commented, Holmes sings Iago “with clarity and power, and with a skilled actor’s ability to convey mood and character” and with “control and subtlety.”  His GERMONT was praised as “with crystal clear enunciation, truly polished, controlled, professional and superb.” But his versatility continues to make him adept at the baritone roles of the bel canto repertoire such as ENRICO of Lucia di Lammermoor and  MALATESTA of Don Pasquale. Equally adept in concert repertoire, Mr. Holmes has performed with entities such as Ballet West, Gulfshore Opera, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake Chorale Artists, Utah Symphony, Temple Square Chorale and Orchestra at Temple Square in concerts in St. John PassionSt. Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Brahms’ A German Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana,the Faure Requiem, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G Major, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacemand Verdi’s Messa di Requiem. He has also performed Handel’s Messiah on several occasions, selections from Mendelssohn’sElijahPorgy and Bess, and pops concerts with music of Gershwin, Kern, and Porter.  Having made his international debut in Italy as a guest of Opera Orvieto in the role of DON GIOVANNI, Holmes received music degrees from the conservatory at Oberlin College and Temple University.

sarahSarah Nordin, Dorabella

Metropolitan Opera singer Sarah Nordin is a “luscious” mezzo-soprano who was praised for her performance as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana by Opera News for her ability to “hold her own with the big guns.” She presents a rich and luxuriant voice that will fill the biggest opera hall. Sarah also has the ability to evoke side splitting laughter from an audience while performing those wonderful comedic roles such as Count Orlofsky and Isabella. Classically trained, Sarah has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a number of prestigious companies such as Opera Theater of St. Louis, Opera North, Central City Opera, and Caramoor Opera. Additional stage experience presented itself to her while working with the Metropolitan Opera in such productions as Les Troyens, Parsifal, Otello, Boris Godunov, Nabucco and Turandot. Ms. Nordin has also toured Japan with the Metropolitan Opera and traveled throughout Europe as a soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble. Most recently Ms. Nordin has appeared as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with both Opera del West and Long Island Opera. Other credits this season include Carmen in concert with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra and include Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Florida Opera Theatre, Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Salt Marsh Opera, Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Marcella in Le Nozze di Figaro with Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre, and Meg in Falstaff with Taconic Opera. Some of her favorite roles performed are Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Count Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, and Angelina in La Cenerentola. In the winter of 2016, she joins Opera Tampa and Winter Opera of St Louis to portray Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte. Ms. Nordin will also sing Flora in La Traviata with Opera Tampa in March. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Lee University and her Master of Music degree from the University of Tennessee where she was a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio. An accomplished French horn player and experienced dancer, Sarah resides in New York City.

 

Nicolas GiustiNicolas Giusti, Conductor

A master of the Italian style, Maestro Nicolas Giusti is known for his work along side international opera artists June Anderson, Rockwell Blacke, Cecilia Bartoli, Franco Bonisolli, Renato Bruson, Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci, and Giancarlo Menotti, to name a few.  As a conductor, coach, teacher, and composer he is the beneficiary of the Italian operatic tradition through his many years of collaboration with Maestro Arturo Toscanini’s assistant Antonio Tonini of the Teatro alla Scala di Milano.  He has coached several international artists in preparation for major operatic appearances.  As a collaborator in Franco Zeffirelli’s film “Callas Forever,” he was vocal consultant and the pianist of the film. Highlights of his conducting engagements include National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague, the Theatrical Orchestra of Izmir, the AMIT Orchestra of Roma, the International Orchestra of Italy, the National Orchestra of Portugal, the Symphonic Orchestra of Plovdiv Theater, the Orchestra of Sofia Theater, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Giuseppe Tartini, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Marrucino Theater, the Choir and Orchestra of Luis Mariano (San Sebastian, Spain), the Chamber Orchestra of Toronto, and the Rome Symphonic Orchestra.  As an orchestra conductor, he had notable successes with such operatic productions as: Die Zauberflöte at Colosseum of Oporto (Portugal, 2005), Gianni Schicchi (Orbetello Festival with the legendary Giuseppe Taddei), Tosca (with Silvano Carroli, transmitted on RAI radio3), and La bohème at the State Theater of Izmir (Turkey), the first production of the century in that country.  In addition to presenting master classes throughout Europe, Maestro Giusti has served as musical director for the Mario del Monaco Foundation’s Accademia di Cagli, associate director of Belcanto at the Festival of Avenches (Switzerland), and for over twenty years has been professor of opera at Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca (Istituto di Alta Cultura) of Pescara, Italy.  Most recently he has conducted operas in Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and Turkey with various organizations including Nabucco, Aida, Tosca, Carmen, Le nozze di Figaro, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Carmina Burana, La sonnambula, and many concerts.

CorrineCorrine Hayes, Director

A dynamic new voice on the opera scene, director Corinne Hayes has recently presented work with Marble City Opera, Opera North, and the Crested Butte Music Festival.  In June 2014, Corinne made her debut with Teatro Lirico in Washington D.C. directing La Verbena de la Paloma at the GALA Hispanic Theatre.  Corinne will return to Teatro Lirico in 2015 with a new production of La Rosa del Azafran.  Company debuts in 2015-2016 include Winter Opera St. Louis (Così fan tutte) and Shreveport Opera (Carmen).  For Central City Opera’s 2015 summer festival, Corinne had the honor of staging the La traviata Family Performance (Elise Sandell, production), as well as excerpts for the company’s popular Short Works scenes program.  In spring 2016, Corinne joins the faculty of the renowned University of Maryland School of Music as a Guest Lecturer for the Opera Workshop.  In 2010, Corinne was honored by the National Opera Association, winning First Place for her “stark, yet stylish” staging of The Rape of Lucretia.  In 2011, Corinne served as Associate Stage Director on Indiana University’s critically acclaimed production of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.  In addition to having her successful adaptation of The Magic Flute tour in Florida, Corinne has worked on productions with the Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera.  Corinne is proud to be represented by Marvel Arts Management, LLC.

Synopsis  

Act I: The action begins mid-argument: Two young officers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, are bragging about the unswerving fidelity of their fiancees, the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi. Don Alfonso, a scholar and a cynic, says that no woman can be truly faithful; and moreover, he can prove it. Alfonso bets the two young men a handsome sum that if they do what he says, down to the letter, their lovers will betray them. Ferrando and Guglielmo eagerly accept the wager,  brazenly declaring their confidence in the outcome. Alfonso lays out the parameters of his scheme: The two men will declare that they’ve been called to war. While the women mourn their sudden departure, the men will return in disguise and attempt to seduce each other’s lovers. If they succeed, Alfonso wins the bet.

Upon Ferrando and Guglielmo’s departure, Fiordiligi and Dorabella are inconsolable. Despina, servant in the ladies’ household, suggests that while the men are gone the sisters can find new ways to entertain themselves—perhaps even with new men. The women are appalled by Despina’s suggestion, and vocally oppose the mere thought of infidelity.

Alfonso realizes he may need a bit of help to pull this off, and bribes Despinato lend him a hand—but he only tells her part of the story. Two wealthy  Albanians are in town, he claims, and are eager to meet her mistresses. Meawhile,  Ferrando and Guglielmo don the Albanian garb and prepare to fill their new roles. Alfonso brings the men in and finds a place nearby the watch. The men grow bolder as Despina fails to recognize them. When Despina introduces them to Fiordiligi and Dorabella, the newly minted Albanians brazenly make their move, only to be rebuked by the women, who flee the house. Alfonso reappears, and the men claim victory. Alfonso warns them that the game isn’t over yet.

Alfonso and Despina conspire on the next step of their scheme. Still disguised, Ferrando and Guglielmo reappear, proclaiming their love for the sisters. When their advances are once again rebuffed, the men pretend to swallow poison and make an elaborate show of nearing death. At long last, the women’s sympathies are finally stirred.

Despina and Alfonso go off to find a doctor—Despina in disguise. With the help of a magnetic medical marvel, Despina revives the men, who immediately return their attention to the befuddled sisters. Regaining their composure, Fiordiligi and Dorabella once again proclaim their fidelity and hastily flee the scene.

INTERMISSION

Act II: Fiordiligi and Dorabella remain despondent. Despina, tired of their impractical pinings, gives her mistresses frank advice on the ways of love and lovers. Why bother with love, when a lover or two is what you truly need?

The sisters chase Despina away, but her advice has changed something in them. Dorabella proposes that they lead the men on for awhile—a harmless whim. Fiordiligi initially resists, but then begins to relent. She’ll take the dark one, while Dorabella giddily claims the fair one. Unwittingly, the two sisters agree to have a bit of fun with each other’s fiancés.

Reunited, the two couples split off for romantic walks. Guglielmo offers Dorabella a small golden heart as a token of his affection. Though resistant at first, she soon relents; Guglielmo’s gift replaces Ferrando’s portrait around her neck.

In the wake of his success with Dorabella, Guglielmo reunites with Ferrando, whose pursuit of Fiordiligi has been fruitless. Ferrando’s assumption that Dorabella has also remained constant is shattered when Guglielmo produces proof of her indiscretion. Fueled by anger, Ferrando renews his quest to seduce the steadfast Fiordiligi.

Dorabella is transformed; her encounter with Guglielmo has left her feeling light and free. She encourages her sister to follow the unpredictable path of a love, but Fiordiligi’s resolve turns back toward fidelity. She devises a plan: The sisters will don military uniforms and find their fiancés on the battlefield. Just as Fiordiligi begins to dress for battle, Ferrando appears. Unable to resist any longer, Fiordiligi gives in to Ferrando’s declarations of love.

Wracked with guilt, Ferrando and Guglielmo are unsure of how to proceed. Don Alfonso suggests they get married; soon after, Despina announces that the sisters are proposing a double wedding.

The couples toast to their future, but the festivities are uneasy. Guglielmo quietly expresses his anger, while the others proclaim their joy with hollow platitudes. Despina arrives, dressed as a notary, and produces a wedding contract. The women sign, but before the men can do the same, Don Alfonso announces the return of the soldiers. Dorabella and Fiordiligi shoo the Albanians away in a panic.

The men quickly change and reappear dressed as war-weary soldiers.  Guglielmo “discovers” the signed marriage contract, both men feign shock and anger, and they run off in search of the Albanians. Guglielmo and Ferrando return, disguises in hand; the sisters, at long last, realize that they’ve been deceived.

Alfonso proclaims that the couples have learned their lesson, and that they are all the wiser for it. The couples speak of forgiveness, but the future remains uncertain.

-Synopsis by Corinne Hayes