“Cosi Fan Tutte” – Upcoming opera reaches out to modern audience

Dr. Stafford Turner uses his passion for opera to make the musical art more accessible to the general public. Photo by: Hannah Haggerty

By: Travis Archie

“Cosi Fan Tutte” is a comedic opera created by the talented Wolfgang Mozart on Jan. 26, 1790 at the Burgthreater in Vienna, Austria. The opera will be performed at the direction of Dr. Stafford Turner, Gardner-Webb associate professor of music, Feb. 11-13 at 7 p.m. in the Dover Theater.

The Italian phrase “cosi fan tutte” roughly translates into, “thus do all [women]” or “all women do it.“ The opera is about a boss who bets his two employees that “all women are unfaithful at heart and if given the chance they will go to another lover behind your back.”  In order to prove that their boss is wrong, the two men go incognito and try to woo the other man’s lady.

Although this opera was originally created to entertain people in the late 18th century but this opera has the ability to be, “transplantable and updatable,” according to Turner. He got the idea of the scenery of this opera from a play called “Greater Tuna” that took place in the created town of Tuna, Texas.

“When I saw the play in person, there was a scene that took place in a diner and I thought that would be a great scene for ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’,” said Turner. Scenery changes have been done before to appeal to a modern audience. “Opera has turned into an elitist art form and I’m out to change that,” says Turner.

One way he hopes to change the “elitist” stereotype is for Gardner-Webb to host an opera every year with the modern audience in mind.

To read more about Turner’s love of opera, check out this article.