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17 Aug 2024

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney


Performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Running time

Approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes, including one interval.

Fickle or faithful? Treacherous or true? Can love survive a test, in jest?

If anyone can make the ridiculous sublime, it’s Mozart. Here is proof. The last in his celebrated trilogy of operas composed with his friend and librettist Da Ponte, Così fan tutte is an absurd story set to music of impossible beauty.

At the urging of a cynical old philosopher, two men disguise themselves and attempt to seduce the other’s lover in an elaborate ruse to win a bet. They’re young, and in love, and quite sure they can prove that love will pass the test.

Come along for the ride and you’ll see that under a veil of feisty farce, there’s a poignant drama about love, sex, fidelity and loss. The music is exquisite – Mozart at his absolute best. The glorious trio ‘Soave sia il vento’ is transcendent.

David McVicar’s acclaimed production is set in the early 1900s, with ravishing costumes of the period. The set is bathed in glorious sunlight, reflecting the last summer of innocence before war shatters the 20th century.

Così fan tutte depends on six talented singer-actors, so this is a chance to hear some of our brightest young talents performing together. Australian stars Helen Sherman and Alexandra Oomens return home to make their Opera Australia mainstage debuts, along with international soprano Nardus Williams. Australian baritone Nathan Lay and New Zealand-Tongan tenor Filipe Manu play Guglielmo and Ferrando, with Opera Australia veteran Richard Anderson as Don Alfonso.

“Richly rewarding… charms, provokes and surprises… ★★★★½”


Cheat Sheet: Mozart's Così fan tutte

Everything you need to know about one of Mozart's most beautiful works.

What happens in the story? Who was the composer? What should I expect from the music? Here’s everything you need to know…

Read the cheat sheet

Meet the cast

Discover a cast of exciting artists — both local and international — who will be filling the iconic roles in Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Find out more
Overture Dining at the Sydney Opera House

Enjoy dinner before the opera

Overture Dining at Sydney Opera House

Allow us to make your dinner reservation for you: at Overture Dining in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. You’ll be served a three-course menu for just $97.

See the menu

Così fan tutte at Sydney Opera House (2016)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

Così fan tutte at Sydney Opera House (2016)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

Così fan tutte at Sydney Opera House (2016)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

Così fan tutte at Sydney Opera House (2016)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

Così fan tutte at Sydney Opera House (2016)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

Cast & Creative

Revival Director
Set and Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Don Alfonso

Opera Australia Orchestra
Opera Australia Chorus


Are all women fickle? Don Alfonso thinks so, but two officers are determined to prove him wrong.

To win their wager, the men pretend to depart for war, only to return in disguise and attempt to woo the other’s fiancée.

The girls aren’t easily tempted, so Don Alfonso gets their maidservant in on the plot.

There’s flirting and fun in store for all of the lovers – but when it comes down to it, who will end up with who?

Not afraid of spoilers? Read the full synopsis.