Dick Bird discusses Così fan tutte

Here designer Dick Bird explains how he and director John Fulljames have created a production specially for Wormsley’s stunning surroundings.

"The great thing about putting on an opera at Garsington is the location – a performance that takes place over a summer’s evening in beautiful countryside with a picnic at its centre – a game of two halves, with a feast in the middle.
We wanted to make our Così fan tutte fit effortlessly into its surroundings. And so we imagined the story unfolding at a wedding reception on a summer’s evening, just after the meal. Who could possibly in this moment think these lovers to be anything other than matched for life…? Well, Don Alfonso, the old cynic, who has seen more weddings (and more divorces) than anyone else present, finds the whole thing laughable – women, he says, are incapable of fidelity. A subject that makes Ferrando and Guglielmo, two dashing young soldiers, leap to the defence of their fiancées – they could never be unfaithful…

It is a Così fan tutte created for its location, with a bride who is a massive fan of Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film…"

Find out more about Così fan tutte

Image: Taken from Dick Bird's preliminary costume design drawings for Garsington Opera's 2015 production of Così fan tutte.