NWSA Opera Theatre Ensemble Presents Così Fan Tutte… a lo Cubano

6 opera students acting on stage
(Left to right): Marco Barrios, Danniel Giraldo, Stephany Arbelaez, Lucia Panizza, Urszula Zolnierska, Kevin Martinez. Scene: Don Alfonson (Marco Barrios) and Despina (Lucia Panizza), try to acquaint the ladies to the foreigners.

New World School of the Arts Opera Theatre Ensemble production of Così fan tutte, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, will be presented this weekend at the Miami Dade College North Campus. Under the direction of Dr. Megan Barrera, the Mozart opera has been modernized to Havana, Cuba in the thriving 1950s.

“Recitatives were converted into spoken dialogue ‘a lo Cubano’ to move the plot along, with students singing in Italian and adding ‘Spanglish’ for added authenticity,” explained Dr. Barrera. The fully staged opera includes costumes, scenery, and props, accompanied by the NWSA Opera Orchestra under the baton of Dr. Hyunjee Chung. Dr. Barrera is an alumna of New World School of the Arts (high school music division) and this is her first-year appointment as Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at New World School of the Arts. 
“We at NWSA are very proud to have Dr. Barrera working with the students on this marvelous opera by Mozart.  Her enthusiasm, detail oriented approach, and experience as an opera singer are highlighted throughout this modernized version of the comedic plot,” said Dean of Music Dr. Daniel Andai.

This production will be Dr. Barrera’s first full show directorial debut. “Returning to NWSA in the role of educator has been a humbling and surreal experience. It has also been an absolute joy preparing this comedic opera with undergraduates who are excited to learn about the craft of being singer/actors,” said Dr. Barrera.

Così fan tutte, meaning “all are like that,” refers to women and their infidelity. This comic opera takes the audience on a willing suspension of disbelief journey. Ferrando and Guglielmo bet Don Alfonso that their fiancées, sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, will remain faithful to them if they leave for the military. Don Alfonso works with Despina, the sisters’ maid, to ensure that the sisters succumb to the temptations of the new men presented to them. Little do the sisters know, their fiancés are the new men, swapped in disguise.

“Because the opera production has been modernized to Havana, Cuba 1950s, Cuban artistry will be highlighted with an art exhibition collaboration,” highlighted Barrera. To enjoy the exhibition, guests are encouraged to arrive at the MDC North Campus Art Gallery at 5 pm on Saturday, April 2nd and at 1 pm on Sunday, April 3rd, prior to the opera, to witness Voices of the Island: The Cuban Art Collection of Reynier Llanes. This collection features 55 works by 18 Cuban artists, most of whom are still living in Cuba.

Dr. Megan Barrera is an Internationally recognized soprano. A native of Miami, she is an active performer of both opera and concert repertoire. Dr. Barrera has won numerous international vocal competitions, including the Gabriela Beňačková, Certamen Nuevas Voces Ciudad de Sevilla, Vissi D’arte, Saint Petersburg Opera Guild, and the Rochester International Vocal Competition. More about Dr. Barrera.

New World School of the Arts’ specialized opera/voice concentration is unique and rare among Bachelor of Music degree programs in the nation. The curriculum offers undergraduate music students the opportunity to perform mainstage leading roles in fully staged opera productions and opera scenes, accompanied by stellar piano collaborators and the music division’s opera orchestra. The conservatory-style education at NWSA supports high level one-on-one instruction with experienced artist faculty members who cover bel-canto technique, lyric diction, acting, and so much more, for the enhancement of students’ vocal artistry and training to become successful classically trained singer/actors. New World School of the Arts has been integral to the success of world-renowned opera singers, some of which include alumni tenor Russell Thomas (1998); Elaine Alvarez (1998), soprano; and Alan Higgs (2012), bass-baritone, all who continue distinguishing themselves in the professional opera arena. 

The academic music curriculum at New World School of the Arts fosters creativity and develops a knowledge of musical heritage. Course work develops the student’s growth and maturity in comprehensive musicianship. The study of music history and theory is pursued by taking a variety of classes, including foundations of music; surveys of music history in the western world, jazz and pop music in America, and music of the world’s people; and seminars in composition aesthetics, jazz improvisation, chamber music, and general musicianship. Students receive private lessons each term and rigorous daily practice and preparation is expected of each student with their progress closely monitored. Each student is also required to perform a solo jury at the end of each semester before the entire faculty of their area. Information about New World School of the Arts music division at 305-237-3622.

A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. NWSA’s rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more than three decades.

Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or nwsa.mdc.edu.


April 2; 7:30 PM
April 3; 2:00 PM

Miami-Dade College North Campus
William and Joan Lehman Theatre (Pawley Creative Arts Center)
11380 NW 27 Avenue, Miami FL 33167

General admission $10 / Students and seniors $5