Preview: Così fan tutte

Photo courtesy of Hackney Empire
Photo courtesy of Hackney Empire
Photo courtesy of Hackney Empire

The English Touring Opera (ETO) has kicked off its spring tour at the Hackney Empire by providing three treats for Londoners in the form of Così Fan Tutte, Simon Boccanegra and The Siege of Calais at the Hackney Empire until 9 March.

Mozart’s masterpiece, Così Fan Tutte, takes the lead in this colourful tour and will run until Thursday 7 March at The Hackney Empire. Sung in English, the cast includes rising star Kitty Whately – the daughter of TV’s “Lewis” Kevin Whately – who recently sang to much acclaim in ETO’s Barber of Seville, by Rossini.

Laura Mitchell, Anthony Gregory and Richard Mosley-Evans also feature in an opera that questions the choices and motives of young women engaged to be married.

Director Paul Higgins describes it as “a piece about love, being seduced, falling in and out of love and what to do when your head is telling one thing but your heart is telling you the opposite.”

The ageing sexist Don Alfonso tells his friends Ferrando and Guglielmo that women cannot be trusted – including sisters, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, to whom they are engaged. He offers a wager and they accept the challenge. Don Alfonso tells the sisters that their fiancés have been called away on military service.

This is a test of the women’s fidelity, as the men will reappear in disguise and attempt to win the affection of the sisters.

“I wanted to find the humour as well as the truth by going deeper into the music and libretto,” Higgins adds. “It’s a subtle, fascinating and life-affirming piece of opera.”