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‘Così fan tutte’ performed at music festival

At 7 p.m. Saturday, please join the Natchez Festival of Music and the University of Southern Mississippi Opera for an evening full of surprises.

We will have style fresh and right in line with the popular theater costuming around the country for one of Mozart’s most favorite operas, “Così fan tutte,” aka “That’s Just the Way Women Are.”

The costumes will be fun, high-end, gangster-mob dress for this production — still one of the greatest comedies in the operatic repertoire when two couples, who seem happy and loving, test their fidelity to each other with disastrous and hilarious results.

This has become one of Mozart’s most performed operas — usually to packed audiences of all ages. It will be a lively evening with terrific young performers as they blend the modern with the seasoned.

You will not want to miss it. The performance will be at Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center, 64 Homochitto St., and the Grape Escape Club Room will open an hour before the performance.

During this event, we will recognize a group of the Festival’s most consistent and significant friends — those who have contributed their time, resources and personal effort to ensure the continued success of the Festival — Mike Tatum, Ken Miller, John Bergeron, Ed Gaudet, Shields Brown, Gina Buckley, Larry Konecky, Dale Steckler and Katherine Killelea, as well as the many patrons who provided food, transportation and housing support to the artists during the 2013 Festival Season.

Saturday night will have three additional features. Student ticketholders may participate in a tour backstage beginning at 6:30 p.m. sharp, giving them a first-hand glimpse of the goings-on before the performance.

Also, patrons will be able to purchase tickets to the Dec. 6 Christmas Cabaret, the Valentine Gala and any one of the four season ticket packages or individual tickets for May Festival Season events.

Finally, anyone who purchases tickets to “Così fan tutte” may participate in a drawing for two adult stadium tickets to the 2014 Festival’s Signature Event —Tribute to The Beatles starring Classical Mystery Tour on May 10.

Season and individual tickets are on sale now at Natchez Pilgrimage Tours by calling 601-446-6631 or 800-647-6742. For more information about the festival events, its sponsors and how to follow the festival, visit natchezfestivalofmusic.com.

Jay Dean is artistic director of the Natchez Festival of Music.