Opera Scotland

Finta giardiniera 1996Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)

Read more about the opera Finta giardiniera

The end of January generally sees one of the major student productions in Glasgow. They have often tackled Mozart, though Figaro or the Flute seem more likely candidates, with the large number of solo roles to provide useful experience. La finta giardiniera is a long work, and the libretto is no masterpiece, lacking structure and coherence. However there is plenty of hidden treasure to justify revival.

The Mayor is a genuine buffo tenor role, a middle-aged codger, who, try as he might, does not get a girl. The other tenor role, Count Belfiore, is more problematic. As written, he comes over as something of a silly ass, yet we are required to believe firstly that 'Sandrina' has fled from him because of his violence, and, secondly, that she then tests his faithfulness, reforms him and forgives him. His music, meanwhile, contains elements familiar from later Mozartian parts for lyric tenor.

Sandrina herself has some beautiful music, almost worthy of Countess Almaviva. Her mad scene does seem dramatically inapposite - though no worse, perhaps, that the tenor's. The servant couple are, in general, more interesting characters than the gentlefolk.

There is, inevitably, page after page of wonderful Mozart, and plenty for the students to cope with, in what seems to have been the Scottish premiere, ably led by Tim Dean and his band. Perhaps the students should be encouraged towards this kind of repertoire - excellent technical training, without risking comparison with dozens of great singers of the past.

Further dates to be added.

Performance Cast

Don Anchise Mayor (Podestà) of Lagonero

Peter Van Hulle

Marchesa Violante Onesti in disguise as 'Sandrina' a garden-girl

Adeline Ramage

Count Belfiore betrothed to Arminda

Douglas Telfer

Arminda Don Anchise's wealthy niece

Rachel Hynes

Don Ramiro a young gentleman

Hester Dam

Serpetta maidservant to Don Anchise

Joan McKay

Roberto the Marchesa's servant, in disguise as 'Nardo'

Robin Greenway

Performance DatesFinta giardiniera 1996

Map List

New Athenaeum Theatre | Glasgow

20 Jan, 19.30

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