La Finta Giardiniera

Wolfgang-Amadeus Mozart

Stage Director – Dmitry Bertman
Music Director – Denis Kirpanev
Director – Galina Timakova
Light Designer – Denis Yenyukov

Playing time – 2 hours
Premiere – October 11, 2006

A venturesome comedy by young Mozart with the light tint of a detective story in Russian version of Yuri Dimitrin became clearer. The sham garden-girl, the sham gardener, the sham killed hero, the sham killed heroine... All of that Mozart presents with vivacity, passion, and brilliant simplicity, but simplicity is, of course, only seeming. It feels like he would easily take part in this hazardous game, which his heroes play.

The diploma performance of Dmitry Bertman's graduates of Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts (RATA) was already welcomed in Baku, Voronezh, Tula, Serpukhov. From the 11th October 2006 it is in "Helikon-Opera's" repertoire.

HISTORY

Giuseppe Petrosellini (1727–1799) is widely thought to be the author of the libretto of “La finta giardiniera”. Before the other names were also connected with it: more famous Ranieri Calzabigi (the librettist of Gluk) and Marco Coltellini. This adventurous libretto, written in Karlo Goldoni’s traditions may be the result of many people’s work. The sequence of events is immensely confused, but the temper of each character is elaborated. Contino Belfiore (“a beautiful flower”), dignified and passionate Violante Onesti, manly decisive Arminda — all these images provided enough fodder for the composer’s imagination. Whoever is the author of the text, Mozart paid to it a great attention and did his best to perform the text details in the music. 

The 18-year-old musician began working on this opera-bouffe in Saltsburg and completed it in Munich. He arrived there in December 1774 and left in March 1775. As early as on 13 March the premier of “La finta giardiniera” prepared by Mozart himself took place at the “Salvator” Munich Theatre. In his young days Mozart’s attitude towards comic opera was rather dismissive. Once he shared his plans with his father: “Here and there, in spring, summer or autumn there is a necessity in operas-bouffe, which can be composed for exercising or out of boredom. They are not paid much, but a little something…” But this attitude was rather synthetic. 

Mozart worked on “La finta giardiniera” in all seriousness. The music turned out to be so complicated for the troupe that they had to postpone the premiere. The complexity of the score didn’t allow the opera to become a repertoire composition in the 18th century.

In 1779 the composer converted the opera-bouffe in the Italian language to the singspiel in German with dialogs instead of patters for the German troupe of Johann Heinrich Boem being on tour in Saltsburg. The translator of the libretto into German is unknown. Mozart partially reduced the music and enhanced the instrumentation, simplifying the general composition for performance and perception. In this new slightly simplified version and thanks to the efforts of the wandering troupe of Boem “Die verstellte Gärtnerin” came to prominence in many cities of Austria and Germany. And only in the 20th century it began to be widely performed on the opera stages.

SUMMARY

Act 1
Count Belfiore stabbs his beloved Marchioness Violante Onesti in a bout of jealousy. Since that everything in their lives has got all mixed up. The Count escapes, thinking he has killed the Marchioness. Violante and her faithful servant Roberto set forth to find him. Disguised as gardeners Sandrina and Nardo begin to work for Don Anchise. Everything in his mansion goes topsy-turvy because of them, especially after Count Belfiore has appeared there. Arminda, a niece of Don Anchise  s determined to marry the Count and leaves her former beloved Cavalier Ramiro. Don  nchise begins to run after the beautiful garden-girl and deprives his servant Serpetta of his favor. The servant is still long on her plans towards the lord and repels advances of Nardo.

Act 2
As soon as the Count notes the resemblance of Sandrina with Marchioness Onesti he considers to be killed, the situation becomes worse. The heroes’ confusion is sometimes close to madness, but eventually everything is settled. The Marchioness couples with the Count, Arminda with Ramiro, Serpetta with Roberto (Nardo). Don Anchise remains alone, but he has a philosophical attitude towards it and hopes to meet “a new Sandrina”.

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