BYU School of Music presents ‘Così fan tutte’

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The BYU School of Music opened its latest show earlier this month called “Così fan tutte.”

BYU students presented an opera full of romance and comedy at the West Campus Building. BYU’s opera performed in an updated version of “Così fan tutte” written by Lorenzo de Ponti and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The opera’s story includes betting between friends, fiance swapping and trickery all around, opera director Shea Owens said.

“It’s kind of a farcical plot, but it’s always a lot of fun. There’s a lot of laughter involved with beautiful, amazing music,” he said.

22-year-old BYU vocal performance student Ethan Simpson is no stranger to the music of this show. He has seen renditions of it performed in the past.

“I’ve never seen a production of ‘Cosi’ like this before. The vocals were incredible, the acting was great and the chorus, I think, was one of my favorite parts,” Simpson said.

BYU’s fresh take of this classic opera swaps out the original 18th century Italian setting for a groovy 1970 Las Vegas vibe instead. 

“The set and the costumes were so cool — very surprising and so delightful. So much fun to watch,” he said.

The audience’s influence on the outcome of the show was another twist on the opera.

During intermission, audience members had the opportunity to digitally vote for the characters they wanted to end up together. The cast had previously prepared for three different ending options.

“We’ve tweaked the story, of course a little bit. We haven’t really changed the music — that’s Mozart, that’s timeless. But as far as who ends up with whom, we tell them right before intermission ends and they go out and they do it,” Owens said.

The opera will close with a final performance Saturday Feb. 25.

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