Cosi was Mozart’s least understood opera, as testified by the many rewritings and reinterpretations that marked the piece. The suspicions aroused by this opera lasted for over a century.
The present article gives the names of all the singers included in the first cast, with short biographical notices, as well as the titles which were used, until 1910, in German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Dutch and French performances. The paper, which also points out first editions, mentions the tempi used in the transcription for keyboard published in Paris by Schlesinger in 1822.
Cosi was adapted in different ways in German-speaking countries. The baldness of the plot and the weakness of the text were particularly criticised in the nineteenth century. Between 1791 and the mid-nineteenth century different versions of the opera were presented both internationally and locally.
After 1850, only a few versions were still presented on stage. In France, important changes were made relating to both text and music. For example, musical pieces by other composers were inserted and the action was altered. It was only in the twentieth century that Cosi was revived in its original form by Richard Strauss and Karl Böhm.