Sisterhood and Seduction III: Intimacy and Influence

Kristi Brown-Montesano

in Understanding the Women of Mozart's Operas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248021
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932968 | DOI:
Sisterhood and Seduction III: Intimacy and Influence

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Two young women, the only pair of biological sisters in Mozart's operas, sit together in the morning sun, each gazing dreamily at their lover's portrait. Like Pamina, Fiordiligi and Dorabella are the necessary but unwitting participants in a special tutorial, in which experienced male reason will strip idealistic youth of its delusions about love and reveal the true nature of women: così fan tutte. The fundamental methodology of Don Alfonso's demonstration that “all women are the same,” however, is deception, and he heavily rigs the outcome. Whatever they may or may not learn, Fiordiligi and Dorabella are explicitly taught only one thing: to conform to the motto of the main title so that the Ferrando and Guglielmo will acknowledge it as truth. Don Alfonso never addresses any instruction to the young women that would jeopardize this aim.

Keywords: Mozart's operas; male reason; women's nature; Don Alfonso; così fan tutte

Chapter.  17972 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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