Così fan tutte is an Italian-language opera buffa in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed on January 26, 1790 at the Burgtheater in Vienna, Austria. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte who also wrote Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.
Although it is commonly held that Così fan tutte was written and composed at the suggestion of the Emperor Joseph II, recent research does not support this idea. There is evidence that Mozart's contemporary Antonio Salieri tried to set the libretto but left it unfinished. In 1994, John Rice uncovered two terzetti by Salieri in the Austrian National Library.
The short title, Così fan tutte, literally means "So do they all", using the feminine plural (tutte) to indicate women. It is usually translated into English as "Women are like that". The words are sung by the three men in act 2, scene 3, just before the finale; this melodic phrase is also quoted in the overture to the opera. Da Ponte had used the line "Così fan tutte le belle" earlier in Le nozze di Figaro.
Fiordiligi - Montserrat Caballé
Dorabella - Janet Baker
Despina - Ileana Cotrubaș
Ferrando - Nicolai Gedda
Guglielmo - Wladimiro Ganzarolli
Don Alfonso Richard Van Allan
Colin Davis - conductor
Royal Opera House orchestra and chorus
Philips CD - 1974