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CHAN 3152M
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Opera In English Logo
CHAN 3152
(multiple CD Set)

Mozart: Cosi fan tutte

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2008

Originally recorded in 2007


Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Sir Charles Mackerras

Gareth Hancock


Thomas Allen

baritone - Don Alfonso

Christopher Maltman

baritone - Guglielmo

Diana Montague

mezzo-soprano - Dorabella

Lesley Garrett

soprano - Despina

Janice Watson

soprano - Fiordiligi

Toby Spence

tenor - Ferrando

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir


Watford Colosseum


James Mallinson

Brian Couzens



Jonathan Stokes

Andrew Hallifax


Record Label
Opera In English


Opera in English

Total Time - 159:46
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Così fan tutte

  or The School for Lovers  
  Opera buffa in two acts  
  Libretto by Lorenzo de Ponte, English version by Marmaduke Browne, adapted by John Cox  
1 Overture 4:05
  Act I  
2 No. 1, Trio: 'Suspect Dorabella?' 1:53
3 Recitative: 'Swords or pistols?' 0:50
  Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso  
4 No. 2, Trio: 'Woman's faith is like the phoenix' 1:09
  Don Alfonso, Ferrando, Guglielmo  
5 Recitative: 'A poetical fiction!' 1:19
6 No. 3, Trio: 'I shall hire a band of players' 2:21
  Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso  
7 No. 4, Duet: 'This portrait alone is the face of Adonis' 4:18
8 Recitative: 'I can't thinkl what's the matter' 0:44
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
9 Recitative: 'Here they are' 0:22
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Don Alfonso  
10 No. 5, Aria: 'Let me try. My courage fails' 0:38
  Don Alfonso  
11 Recitative: 'Tell us, for pity's sake' 1:00
  Fiordiligi, Don Alfonso, Dorabella  
12 No. 6, Quintet: 'Courage fails me! For no evasion' 4:07
  Guglielmo, Ferrando, Don Alfonso, Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
13 Recitative: 'It's a comedy, charming!' 0:33
  Don Alfonso, Ferrando, Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
14 No. 8, Chorus: 'Oh, the soldier's life for me!' 1:30
15 Recitative: 'My friends, the time is flying' 0:34
  Don Alfonso, Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Ferrando, Guglielmo  
16 No. 9, Quintet: 'You'll write long letters often' 2:32
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso, Chorus  
17 Recitative: 'Are they gone?' 0:35
  Dorabella, Don Alfonso, Fiordiligi  
18 No. 10, Trio: 'O wind gently blowing' 2:43
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Don Alfonso  
19 Recitative: 'So far all's going splendidly!' 1:05
  Don Alfonso  
20 Recitative: 'A hell of an existence' 0:58
21 'My ladies, here is your chocolate and biscuits' 1:24
  Despina, Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
22 No. 11, Aria: 'Cease not, remorseless love' 1:46
23 Recitative: 'Signora Dorabella, Signora Fiordiligi' 1:36
  Despina, Dorabella, Fiordiligi  
24 No. 12, Aria: 'In lovers and in soldiers' 2:36
25 Recitative: 'What a silence!' 2:21
  Don Alfonso, Despina  
26 No. 13, Sextet: 'I've the honour to present you' 4:18
  Don Alfonso, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Despina, Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
27 Recitative: 'What an outcry!' 3:38
  Don Alfonso, Dorabella, Fiordiligi, Ferrando, Guglielmo  
28 No. 14, Aria: 'Like a fortress in ocean founded!' 4:28
29 Recitative: 'Stay, I implore you!' 0:43
  Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso, Dorabella, Fiordiligi  
30 No. 15, Aria: 'O vision so charming' 1:42
31 No. 16, Trio: 'You seem delighted!' 0:53
  Don Alfonso, Ferrando, Guglielmo  
32 Recitative: 'When you've quite finished laughing' 0:52
  Don Alfonso, Guglielmo, Ferrando  
33 No. 17, Aria: 'Her eyes so alluring' 4:50
34 No. 18, Finale: 'Why has fate my life enshrouded' 2:53
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
35 'To die is all I long for' 4:55
  Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso, Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Despina  
36 'Now ladies, calm yourselves' 8:50
  Don Alfonso, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Despina, Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
  Act II  
37 Recitative: 'Well, I declare, you are a funny pair of young ladies' 2:26
  Despina, Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
38 No. 19, Aria: 'At fifteen a girl already must be truly wise' 3:28
39 Recitative: 'Well, sister! What do you think?' 1:34
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
40 No. 20, Duet: 'I prefer the gentle dark one' 2:53
  Dorabella, Fiordiligi  
41 Recitative: 'Come at once to the garden' 0:22
  Don Alfonso, Dorabella  
42 No. 21, Duet and Chorus: 'Gentle zephyr, softly sighing' 3:03
  Ferrando, Guglielmo, Chorus  
43 Recitative: 'What is this masquerading?' 0:51
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Despina, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso  
44 No. 22, Quartet: 'Now give me your hand' 2:34
  Don Alfonso, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Despina  
45 Recitative: 'Isn't the weather lovely!' 2:14
  Fiordiligi, Ferrando, Dorabella, Guglielmo  
46 No. 23, Duet: 'This heart that I give you' 4:16
  Guglielmo, Dorabella  
47 Recitative: 'Cruel one, would you leave me?' 1:30
  Ferrando, Fiordiligi  
48 Recitative: 'He's leaving. Listen!…' 1:34
49 No. 25, Rondo: 'Ah, my love, I pray forgive me' 7:30
50 Recitative: 'We've done it!' 3:26
  Ferrando, Guglielmo  
51 No. 26, Aria: 'Ladies have such variations' 3:12
52 Recitative: 'Ah! My brain is distracted!' 1:29
53 No. 27, Cavatina: 'Her treason is poison' 2:02
54 Recitative: 'Now at last you are acting as a sane woman should!' 1:30
  Despina, Dorabella, Fiordiligi  
55 No. 28, Aria: 'Young love is unrelenting' 2:55
56 Recitative: 'All the world is conspiring' 2:10
  Fiordiligi, Guglielmo, Despina, Don Alfonso  
57 No. 29, Duet: 'All too slowly the hours are fleeting' 5:11
  Fiordiligi, Ferrando  
58 Recitative: 'That's enough for me!' 1:40
  Guglielmo, Don Alfonso, Ferrando  
59 No. 30, Aria: 'Man accuses the woman' 0:59
  Don Alfonso, Ferrando, Guglielmo  
60 Recitative: 'Well, gentlemen, you've won them' 0:44
  Despina, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso  
61 No. 31, Finale: 'Come, my friends, no more delaying' 1:47
  Despina, Chorus, Don Alfonso  
62 'May the love, that has united them' 4:03
  Chorus, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Fiordiligi, Dorabella  
63 'Happy lovers! Fate conniving' 3:29
  Don Alfonso, Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Despina, Chorus  
64 'Joy once more now our sorrow replaces' 8:11
  Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso, Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Despina  
65 'Happy is the man who calmly takes life strictly as he finds it' 1:42
  Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Despina, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso  
 Janice Watson soprano - Fiordiligi
 Diana Montague mezzo-soprano - Dorabella
 Christopher Maltman baritone - Guglielmo
 Toby Spence tenor - Ferrando
 Lesley Garrett soprano - Despina
 Thomas Allen baritone - Don Alfonso
 Gareth Hancock (Assistant)
 Sir Charles Mackerras
  3-6 and 8-11 January 2007, and 15, 17, 18 & 20 August 2007  
Three mid-priced discs for the price of two
This is an eminent cast which includes Lesley Garrett and Sir Thomas Allen.
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is under the inspired direction of Sir Charles Mackerras who is a 2008 Grammy award winner

Così fan tutte is Mozart’s third opera to a Da Ponte libretto. It is in opera buffa style and has only six characters, two couples and an elderly philosopher and a trusted maid. In this recording Lesley Garrett sings the part of the maid, Despina, and the celebrated veteran Sir Thomas Allen the philosopher, Don Alfonso. Despite the somewhat cynical storyline this opera contains some of Mozart’s most memorable and sublime music. The conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras, has spent many years researching performance practice of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is a noted authority on Mozart’s operas. He writes of this recording, ‘it is indeed a pleasure having the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment lending its expertise in tonal colour, phrasing and rhythmic impulse to Mozart’s wonderful score… I have chosen to record this English version of Così fan tutte with the traditional cuts, thus making it closer to a staged performance’. The English translation, by the Rev. Browne, was first used in London at a performance conducted by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford in 1890.

Mackerras is a hugely talented conductor, now over 80 years old, with a wealth of experience to bring to this his twelfth recording on Chandos Opera in English. Indeed, his recording of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, which also appears on the Chandos Opera in English label, has just won the 2008 Grammy award for Best Opera. On his recording of The Magic Flute, The Sunday Times commented, ‘Mackerras is perhaps the world’s wisest and most enquiring Mozartian, and here he gets playing of magical transparency from the LPO… bringing a sense of wonder to the music now rarely experienced in the theatre’.

"This is an account of Cosi which seems to put momentum first. The opening chord, more ferocious than one would expect, gives way to a rattling overture, and tension and pace never let up."

BBC Music Magazine

"With Sir Charles Mackerras in charge, a lifetime as an exemplary Mozartian seasons this fine recording of the last of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas sung in English, it draws on veteran as well as newer talent."

The Observer

"There seems to be no limit to Sir Charles Mackerras’s capacity for finding new joys and beauties in the works he conducts. This Cosi, in Peter Moores’s Opera in English series is a sheer delight, with an ideal balance between humour, poignancy and satire."

Sunday Telegraph

"I have an aversion to Italian opera sung in English on CD, but this Cosi proves that style can slip through the translation. That it does so is entirely due to Mackerras and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, who transmit a vital, lightly worn authority,"

Financial Times

"M is for Mozart, Mackerras and magic. The Australian conductor - surely the world’s most illuminating and rewarding Mozartian - conjures up sounds of mercurial brilliance and heart-stopping beauty from the OAE and his all British cast in this vernacular version of Mozart’s most enigmatic comedy ... Thomas Allen is inspired casting for the maipulative Don Alfonso, but so too is Lesley Garrett’s impish Despina, still in fine voice and giving object lessons in delivering comic payoffs ... These ’international’ singers, and Mackerras, demonstrate forcibly that opera in English matters."

The Sunday Times

"Charles Mackerras, now in his 83rd year, shows no sign of curtailing his trips to the recording studio, and thank goodness for that. Here is an artist at the peak of his powers, who understands every emotional nuance and every comic twist of Mozart’s opera, and who brings the score to life with captivating vividness ... Lesley Garrett is on cracking good form, the young men are excellent and Thomas Allen is a superbly wily Don Alfonso."

Classic FM Magazine

"From Ferrando’s opening words ... individual listeners will hear echoes of the past even as they relish this sprightly, deeply felt and beautifully paced performance which, conducted with warmth, stylistic insight and exemplary poise, is very much of our time, its virtues enhanced by the presence of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The playingof the OAE is superb ... The heroes of the enterprise are Sir Peter Moores, for his generous patronage, and above all Sir Charles, whose love of the score and ability to bring it vividly to life by encouraging and inspiring all the performers is patent in every bar."

International Record Review

"... I found myself enjoying this tremendously, simply because it was the first time in a long while that I had bothered to concentrate on exactly what the characters were saying. So if ’Opera in English’ brings a wider audience closer to the heart of Mozart’s and da Ponte’s masterpiece, than it can only be a wonderful thing. Of course, it helps that the music has seldom sounded as glorious as it does in the hands of Sir Charles Mackerras and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment."


…I found myself enjoying this tremendously, simply because it was the first time in a long while that I had bothered to concentrate on exactly what the characters were saying. So if ‘Opera in English’ brings a wider audience closer to the heart of Mozart

I enjoyed this English version of Cosi greatly. Being able to understand every word was fantastic. The singing was excellent and the music brilliant. I did not like the download program at all though. The program locks my browser so that for the period of the download I cannot access the internet. This is extremely annoying. The download program also cannot be relied upon. It has to be watched constantly. During my download it stopped and had to be re-set 4 times. I absolutely hate it. I set it to download overnight. I got up in the morning expecting it to have finished. It stopped working 5 minutes after I had left it the night before. I left my computer on all night for nothing!!!!! Also if it stops or the computer crashes and there are only a few tracks to go, if you download them individually the track name is different to the rest of the tracks. My mp3 player can't handle that. I had to download the hole lot again. This is the worst download program I have ever seen!!! I tried emailing your customer support about these issues but they bounced back. Very unsatisfactory.
B Forsythe