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Fiordiligi


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(Mozart: Così fan tutte). Sop. Sister of Dorabella and betrothed to Guglielmo. The sceptical Don Alfonso is determined to prove to his friends that all women are fickle and enlists the help of the sisters’ maid, Despina. He tricks the sisters into accepting the overtures of two foreign gentlemen (who are their own fiancés in disguise). Determined to remain faithful to Guglielmo, Fiordiligi admonishes Dorabella for weakening, but gradually she too gives in to her amorous suitor (‘I'll take the fair one’) who is, in reality, her sister's fiancé, Ferrando. A bogus double wedding takes place but no sooner are the marriage contracts signed than the real fiancés return. How will the men react and who will Fiordiligi settle for? Arias: Come scoglio (‘Like a rock’); Per pietà (‘Have pity on me’). The two arias mentioned above are very demanding and wideranging, requiring a soprano with a good ‘top’ to the voice, but also a good downward extension. She is the serious sister, who tries to control the early signs of weakening in her younger sister. Famous interpreters, in all nationalities, include Florence Easton, Ina Souez, Jarmila Novotna, Joan Cross, Eleanor Steber, Susanne Danco, Lisa Della Casa. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Sena Jurinac, Margaret Price, Pilar Lorengar, Elizabeth Harwood, Gundula Janowitz, Irmgard Seefried, Karita Mattila, Carol Vaness, Kiri te Kanawa, Felicity Lott, Amanda Roocroft, Renée Fleming, Barbara Frittoli, and Solveig Kringelborn. Created (1790) by Adriana Ferrarese del Bene (who had a torrid affair with Lorenzo da Ponte. Her sister created Dorabella).

Subjects: Opera.


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