Cosi fan tutti
Carmina Priapea presents Mozart’s spring-time comedy Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (Thus Do All Women, or The School for Lovers), in a modern gender-fluid update.
Mozart and Da Ponte use the theme of "fiancée swapping", which dates back to the 13th century; notable earlier versions are found in Boccaccio's Decameron and Shakespeare's play Cymbeline. Elements from Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew are also present.
Carmina Priapea is a new artistic initiative with a dual function: to showcase and engage young emerging talent and to present operas from the standard repertoire from an LGBTQI perspective. This is hardly novel, but the opportunity to exclusively engage young professionals with the chance to cut their teeth on bigger repertory roles is rare. Not only does it allow these works to be viewed from a very different perspective, it allows us to engage with gender from a different perspective. Usually the roles of Fiordiligi and Despina are sung by female sopranos, but by changing the sexes of these roles to male we have an opportunity to explore the way in which society views the battle of the sexes and gender fluidity.