WITH its themes of deception, disguise and sexual fidelity, this opera's plot is more like a play by William Shakespeare than a musical work.

But you only have to listen to Mozart's exquisite score and wonderful arias to realise this is one of the most perfect ensemble operas ever written.

The plot revolves around two women who find their fidelity tested when a worldly wise gentleman challenges their fiances to a bet.

The unexpected results challenge the very foundations of each couple's world.

English Touring Opera's singers execute all of the arias beautifully.

Amanda Echalaz as Fiordiligi displayed a superb soprano voice packed full of passion and power, especially when she finally succumbed to the advances of Ferrando. Her rendition of Come Scoglio was especially moving.

Tenor Gardar Thor Cortes displayed a powerful voice in the role of Fernando but I must admit I found the moustache that came with his disguise rather off-putting!

Fiordiligi's female friend Dorabella, played by Rachel Nicholls, had a super soprano voice and was perfect in her flighty role where she quickly gave in to Guglielmo's advances despite declaring her undying love for Ferrando.

Baritone Leslie John Flanagan, who played Guglielmo, had a superb voice and brought plenty of humour to the role as well.

Andrew Slater as Don Alfonso, the wise gentleman who set up the bet with the two young male lovers, played the role with perfect guile and cunning and I found I really didn't like him by the end.

Don Alfonso's partner-in-crime - the bubbly Despina - was played by mezzo-soprano Sarah Jillian Fox who was perfect as the servant with higher aspirations but who was happy to do anything for money.

The stage set, designed by Soutra Gilmour, is minimally furnished and includes sliding panels which part centrally to reveal a beached boat before a seascape and the costumes are period even though the colourful socks were a rather odd addition.

What I most enjoyed was Timothy Walker's direction of the text which made the emotionally charged narrative perfectly clear and also added emotional depth to the central question of whether women are ever capable of sexual fidelity.