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What if Mozart wrote a sequel to Cosi fan tutte?

Opera Lafayette performs Philador's Les Femmes Vengees on The Lyric Stage Sunday (11/12 at 8 pm).

This week on The Lyric Stage we have music from Philador's 1775 comedy, Les Femmes Vengees, The Avenged Women, with a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine.

Francois Andre Danican Philidor lived from 1726-1795, and for a time, he was one of the leading composers of opera in France, writing two tragedies and twenty opera comiques, and other secular as well as religious works.

He is a fascinating personality. While in London he moved in the world of Samuel Johnson and later, in Paris, knew Benjamin Franklin. Besides his composing, the consensus was that he was also the world's best chess player of his era. His lasting contribution in music was to the contribute to the development of the opera comique, particularly his use of musical pieces to advance the plot rather than recitatives. This week on the Lyric Stage we have music from his 1775 comedy, Les Femmes Vengees, the Avenged Women, with a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine.

The performance is by the Washington D. C. based company, Opera Lafayette. In 2014, Opera Lafayette used Les Femmes Vengees as the third act to a shortened French version of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. The stories are very similar. Using the same cast and set as Cosi on the same night, Opera Lafayette placed Philidor's opera ten years later. The operas share interwoven themes of love and infidelity, temptation and flirtation, the one, Cosi fan tutte, during courtship, and the other, Les Femmes Vengées, after the bloom of marriage has faded. And they also share the same happy ending — the soprano ends up with the tenor, and the mezzo with the baritone.

Pascale Beaudin, Blandine Staskiewicz, Alex Dobson and Antonio Figueroa head the cast. Ryan Brown is the conductor.

Mike Harrah is host of The Lyric Stage, which airs Sundays at 8 pm.