Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

La finta giardiniera

Book Now
5 October - 27 November 2014
Tour 2014

A new production from the 2014 Festival

The first performance of this opera took place in January 1775, a few weeks before the composer’s 19th birthday. Mozart’s brilliance flowered astonishingly early and all his brightest powers of invention are on display here.

Before the opera begins Sandrina, the Marchesa Violante, has been attacked and left for dead by her jealous lover, Belfiore. Disguising herself as a gardener, she enters the employment of a small-town mayor and the scene is set for a complex tale of mistaken identity, thwarted passion and heartbreak.

Mozart contrives dazzling music around a plot which alternates between high comedy and serious drama. Seven characters, each in search of true love, enter a maze of delusion and confusion, from which they emerge sadder but wiser.

There is a deep uneasiness that lies beneath all this complexity, tipping some of the characters into genuine madness. Is Sandrina mad to want Belfiore back when he has tried to kill her? Does she try to drive him insane as part of the price he has to pay for their ultimate reconciliation? Does love make everyone crazy?

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

The performance lasts approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes, including one interval of 20 minutes.

Edited by Gernot Gruber and Alfred Orel (Neue Mozart-Ausgabe). Published by Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel represented by Faber Music, London.

Dates & Times - La finta giardiniera

Plymouth, Theatre Royal

Date Start Time Finish Time Ticket Price Ranges  
Tuesday 25 November 2014 7:15pm 10:30pm £12.70 - £50.20 Book Now
Thursday 27 November 2014 2:00pm 5:15pm £12.70 - £50.20 Book Now

Act I

The Podestà is in love with Sandrina, his new garden attendant, much to the chagrin of his servant Serpetta, who is in love with him. Sandrina, however, is actually the disguised Violante, who is searching for her lover Belfiore who a year ago stabbed her and fled, believing her dead. Sandrina’s companion and supposed cousin, Nardo (really her servant, Roberto), is in love with Serpetta.

Arminda, the Podestà’s niece, has spurned her admirer Ramiro for a new suitor. Sandrina is distraught to discover that Arminda’s new suitor is none other than her own errant lover Belfiore. When Belfiore arrives, he recognises Sandrina as Violante, but she refuses to admit her true identity. As Arminda senses that something is awry and fears losing Belfiore to Sandrina, Ramiro’s hopes of winning Arminda back are rekindled. 

Act II

After dismissing Ramiro, Arminda confronts Belfiore about Sandrina. Nardo vainly woos Serpetta. Sandrina continues to deny that she is Violante, and goes so far as to tell Belfiore that she witnessed Violante’s death. When Ramiro arrives and attempts to arrest Belfiore for the murder of Violante, Sandrina finally admits that she is Violante. Left alone with Belfiore, she tells him that it was merely a ruse to save him, and he loses his reason. 

Her marriage to Belfiore threatened, Arminda plots with Serpetta to abandon Sandrina in a desolate place. Nardo discovers the plot and leads a search for Sandrina. 

Confused and terrified, Sandrina also loses her reason and runs away. The search party arrives, but the darkness causes chaos. When Ramiro appears with a light, Belfiore and Sandrina find each other and imagine themselves to be Greek gods and the onlookers to be forest nymphs. 


The reunited Sandrina/Violante and Belfiore awaken, their senses restored, and decide that they must never part. 

Creative Team

Conductor Christopher Moulds
Director Frederic Wake-Walker
Designer Antony McDonald
Lighting Designer Lucy Carter

Cast includes

Don Anchise (Il Podestà) Timothy Robinson
Sandrina (La Marchesa Violante) Rosa Feola
Arminda Eleonore Marguerre
Belfiore Enea Scala
Ramiro Hanna Hipp
Serpetta Eliana Pretorian
Nardo Mattia Olivieri

The Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra

La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
La finta giardiniera, Glyndebourne Tour, Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

‘Frederic Wake-Walker’s inspired production captures the Midsummer Night’s Dream quality in designer Antony McDonald’s crumbling rococo pleasure dome.’ 
Sunday Express 

'...the time flew by in a blast of youthful energy. Frederic Wake-Walker has put down a marker here with a virtuoso display of flair and creativity.'
What's on Stage  

'...a deliciously light-hearted evening. Don't expect to take it too seriously – but do see it and join in the fun.'


La finta Giardinera 19.09.14
Splendid, innovative production. Excellent idea to take from traditional commedia dell’arte, sending up the ridiculous plot. Outstanding singing from all, most impressively from Serpetta (the star of the show – I believe we’ve seen Eliana Pretorian twice before, in Hansel und Gretel and in Rusalka, when she also made impacts in smaller parts) and Nardo. Lovely Mozartian orchestra, well conducted. The destruction of the set in the finale had a good shock impact to begin with, but went on too long, but perhaps that was true of the opera, too.
All in all, really enjoyable.

We thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Glyndebourne. An excellent production.

first visit to Glynebourne what a wonderful evening well done everyone

We had a delightful visit on 23rd October and cannot praise the performers or the production too highly. The knock about destruction of the set was so splendidly timed that we have talked about it ever since, such was our enjoyment of this unexpected, but well thought out display. Although we travelled by train we chose to have a meal following the performance and congratulate the staff in the restaurant for calling us a taxi so effortlessly so that our journey back to London was as near effortless as we could have wished. Congratulations all round!!!

Fantastic interpretation of a Mozart opera -you made it brilliantly funny and Blackadder would have been proud !Every aspect completely stunning!!Another triumph and incredibly memorable !

Ridiculous plot, beautifully sung, beautifully played, stylishly designed. Enjoyable frothy fun.

We thoroughly enjoyed this production, I loved the style, the costumes, set and the movements. I was reminded of 18th century illustrations. The cast were excellent and all sang and acted superbly. I was amazed at the athletic prowess of the cast. I also loved the collapsing set and general disintegration at the finale. It was a very clever and daring production which worked extremely well and kept an amazing pace up for the whole opera. Another memorable evening!

Fun performance for my children but they are not eligible for your 16-30 younger membership as they are too young - might be an idea to expand the age range to 10-30 to engage with younger audience.

Absolutely brilliant . Well done. not to belittle the excellent cast, the Orchestra must also be praised
Thank you

Superb evening.

Superb opera, I thought the first half was a little slow but the second half was amazing and so funny that it made up for it.a

The opera was lovely and my brother and I enjoyed the comedy within it all. The singers were well up to the Glyndebourne standard and the conductor excellent well-supported by his orchestra. Our evening was slightly spoilt by the difficulty of finding our drinks in the interval partly because the website had refused to let me order a soft drink so I had had to go through the office. This meant that I said no when asked if I had ordered on line so that we were looking in the wrong place. Getting away at the end was difficult too FTWQand seemed to take an age.

We went with some trepidation having read a few average press reviews, but never believe them! It was a truly enjoyable evening. All the cast were excellent. Serpetta's statuesque pose in Act II was mesmerising....how did she do it! The developing crazy destruction of the set brought the opera to a memorable end. Well done young Mozart, cast and orchestra.

Sitting 5 rows from the stage made reading straining to look up at the translation difficult when wanting to keep our eyes on the stage was tricky. And our second visit this year reminded us of the somewhat uncomfortable seats....we noticed those around us wriggling to ease the discomfort too!

But a small price to pay for another excellent performance.

We thoroughly enjoyed this opera. We did not have a clue what was going on, but it was highly entertaining. The conductor was particularly enjoyable to watch.

I was with a party of eight for the study event and the opera on Sunday 19th October. The study event was fascinating as well as being informative and entertaining.
The opera itelf exceeded all expectations. The multi-talented cast pulled out all the stops. The posing, the humour and the set combined to make an exceptional evening. The beautiful singing is still echoing in my head. It was a day my friends and I will never forget.

I had never even heard of this opera! The music was beautiful, the singing was brilliant and the staging was excellent. Overall, a marvellous occasion. Made better by the troupe trashing the set completely by the end of the piece. It has turned me into a Mozart opera fan!

Wonderful evening, it was my first visit to Glyndebourne and the whole experience exceeded my expectations. Such a fun production, wonderful performances, altogether a first class production.

After making two visits to Glyndebourne to see "La Finta" which was so superb in every way,I cannot stop playing my cds of it.
Only wish that you are going to issue a DVD.
Looking forward particularly to the Mozart next year.

An unexpected delight. A ludricrous plot, with music by the young Mozart still stretching his wings ... but with a bit of careful pruning and a truly inspired production, there wasn't a dry seat in the house. One could almost say that Mozart was channeling Rossini if it wasn't the wrong way round ...

Pandemonium trying to get out afterwards. During the festival of course people are packing up, eating cheese and drinking coffee, changing etc before leaping into their cars. During the tour everybody tries to get away at once ... result ...

And impossible CAPTCAs ...

Slightly nervous about La Finta, but every moment was a joy. Such a good ensemble and packed with surprises. Every time I think of Nardo and his legs, I chuckle. Can't be bad to still have a smile on my face two days after seeing this delightfully 'silly' opera. Thank you for such a wonderful surprise.r2 w2N

First class entertainment, excellent production and cast, just a litle bit lacking in story line.

A great evening thank you - came with some friends who had never been before & we all enjoyed the performance immensely. Real "feel good factor!

Sunday, October 19, was one of the most satisfying visits to Glyndebourne we have made in 2014. We thought the production imaginative and highly effective. Musically and dramatically, the performance was nothing short of a delight. The stylised, balletic movements worked perfectly and could not have been better devised as a counterpoint to the music.

Right from the moment we stepped off the train and onto the swish coach awaiting to whisk us off from Lewes, we were transported into another world. After a glass of 'bubbly' to get us into the mood, we found our way to our superb seats, right in the centre and raised just above the stalls. From there we became totally absorbed in the most brilliant production of a very witty opera. How on earth do you rebuild the set after each performance - what a task!! Excellent orchestra supporting such a talented cast - we loved the stylised, almost pantomine-esque they moved about the stage. Thank you for a memorable evening.

On Sunday 19th October I thoroughly enjoyed a truly 'whacky' and exciting performance, of La Finta Giardiniera. The quality of the music, singing and the acting, all equally brilliant!
The production was splendid and the slow, but complete collapse of the set, was very entertainng and great fun to watch. Congratulations to everyone involved!!

It was a wonderful evening, with superb music and lovely voice. The plot mystified us utterly, especially the cross-dressing Goth, but it didn't matter, as we were captivated by the very frothy production. We loved the Buster Keeton special effect. It was all enhanced by the mild autumn weather, with a walk round the lake making us wish we had brought a pic-nic and giving us a flavour of the festival, which we aim to venture next year.

What a wonderful and uproarious evening; didn't want the performance to end. We feel sure Mozart himself would have applauded this production.

We had a most enjoyable evening with the musicians delivering the high standards we have come to expect at Glyndebourne. The demolition of most of the set provided an unexpected and amusing ending.
The printed programme with a modest price tag and interesting text was not very user friendly as it did not want to stay open.
It might just be that our copy had a problem with the binding.

The quality of Mozart's music shines through this brilliant production. Time and again Mozart injects life into this wayward libretto, through his musical inventiveness - the sure hand of genius. It's a pity the heavy hand of opera seria stalls the dramatic impetus of Act II. Perhaps some judicial pruning is in order, even at the cost of some arias, which although musically enjoyable, don't lead anywhere dramatically.d

A very enjoyable and entertaining evening with superb singing, playing and conducting. A performance so very different from most operas i have seen. The whole experience has left me wanting to return to see yet more operas.8edi5

Wolfgang would have been proud of this touring La Finta. Brilliant acting (the lovelorn seven crafted individual characterisation of a very high order) and singing from the cast, astoundingly impressive lighting, a stunning distintegrating set(which received its own ovation on the 19th). . .all backed by The Orchestra breathing life into what is obviously an overlooked Mozart masterpiece.Well worth the effort to catch (if you can) a ticket or two as the show gets on the road.

60 of us came for our annual visit to the Touring Company on Sunday, and the praise expressed for this production was universal. Some had seen La Finta in the summer, and needed no persuasion to see it again - the version we saw on Sunday was at least as good as the Festival production, we thought, as is so often the case with Touring Company revivals. Let's hope that this neglected early work will now find its deserved place in the repertoire.

The study day was as wonderful as ever, especially the information about the transition between opera Seria & Bufo. The performance was glorious; talk about artifice! Set, design, costumes, movement; brilliant!The totally daft plot was almost transcended by the burgeoning glory of Mozart's music. Like Handel, he knew how to express emotion through the formal aria forms, touching the human heart. All the singers were excellent, as were the orchestra. I loved the "trousers role", although I confess to adoring the counter- tenor voice. In the 18th Century, I should have been swooning at the sound of Farinelli.

Another life-enhancing day, in the company of dear friends. Thank you, Glyndebourne.

Wonderful performance with such energy and vitality. Added bonus a glorious Sunday afternoon with the garden glowing in the sunlight. A great atmospheric time at glyndebourne. As enjoyable but in a different way as the summer festival. Hope to be back for both next year,

As always a very enjoyable visit . Well done to everyone a superb performance

I enjoyed this production a lot, it exceeded my expectations. The singers were well coasted, and good actors, giving comedy and pathos in equal measures. My partner and I had a very enjoyable visit. Overlong - no.

I have just come back from seeing La Finta Giardiniera for the second time at Glyndebourne The singing.acting & movement together with the orchestra were superb.
Would love to be able to buy a DVD of it.
(Was the red/floral dress worn by Arminda Ted Baker floral fabric?)

Saw the 'Tour' production, very enjoyable evening, despite the 40 or so minute wait to get out of the car park afterwards! Musically first class - the production was inventive without being illuminating. I imagine it is difficult to make an 18th century opera comprehensible for a modern audience but just wish, occasionally, that theatre directors would trust the composer and not try to impose their own agenda.

My first visit to Glyndebourne and one of the most genuinely funny and enchanting pieces of opera I have ever seen. Everything about this production was brilliant; Mozart's music, the singing, the orchestra, the direction, the production, the technical elements... a huge congratulations to everyone involved.
I would happily come and watch 'La finta giardiniera' again!

A thoroughly enjoyable performance of this almost unknown Mozart opera. Beautiful music, wonderful singing and casting - surely it won't be long before this opera will reach an even bigger audience in some of the world's major opera houses.

A glorious romp of an evening and it must be the first time that I have seen a cast destroying their set as part of the story - Deconstruction or altering the spectacle? - a lot of care in the production, though, and, as always, superb singing with an able conductor who, and it's not easy, kept this delightful show on the straight and narrow

An absolutely stunning production. Wonderful music, and the singing was perfect. The originality of the design and brilliant comic interpretation left us purring. The sets were lovely too. We felt like coming again and again!

I will not submit my appreciation of this witty production a second time, but I found the Captcha code difficult to read and my submission of the code was rejected as incorrect. It would be helpful if it could be available in audio form as well, as many other companies do, and if one could be given another chance to re-submit it, without having the appreciation deleted.
Thank you.

Thoroughly enjoyed the evening - even more than the Festival performance for which we unexpectedly got late tickets. The Tour production seemed tauter and clearer and the casting was excellent. Glyndebourne comes up trumps yet again!

Dear Glyndebourne,

The production of La Giardiniera was a hilarious romp which was greatly enjoyed. The choice of a wacky production blended with the temperament of the 18 year old Mozart, yet at times the music gave a premonition of the mature genius yet to come.

The decision to produce a programme book small enough to take into the auditorium in comfort was most welcome.

Overall, well done and most enjoyable,

Alastair and Anne Carruthers

With this our first visit to Glyndebourne and wonderful production of La Finta Giardiniera what more could we have asked. We enjoyed the whole experience spending time in the beautiful grounds and eating after the performance in one of the lovely restaurants. I somehow managed to lose my purse but it was handed in and safely returned to me.
Ilook forward to the next time

breathtaking performance on the 9th - enthusiastic and comedic acting and brilliant singing by the cast, thrilling staging especially Act 2, and great playing by the orchestra- such a great night all round enjoyed enormously by our non-opera buff guests

My 8 year old grand daughter thought she understood what was happening. I mostly did not !
However what verve, skill and entertainment. Please thank the singers, conductor and orchestra for their absolute brilliance. As always at Glyndebourne it is hard to get back to the Outside World after the show.
If this young Mr Mozart continues like this as he gets older we will see some remarkable future works. Highly promising !

Some shrewd second thoughts from the director has produced a tauter and more coherent result than in the summer. It seems he has allowed his singers to bring their own ideas in and I think that a good idea. I had worried that nobody could replicate Joelle Harvey's delightfully doll-like Serpetta and fortunately Eliana Pretorian is able to put her own distinctive interpretation on the part. Never patronise the tour performers. This lot are, in their own way, as good as the festival cast. I hate to pick out one voice but it in no way adversely reflects on the others. Mattia Olivieri is really special in the role of Nardo. I should love to hear him in roles such as Figaro, Leporello or Don Giovanni and Guglielmo.

The pre-performance talk was interesting but I thought the lecturer got the class structure wrong. The Podesta joined the titled count and marchioness although he has no title. As he is closely related to Arminda surely he is in the same upper middle class as her and Ramiro? But I entirely agreed that the best way to understand the plot is just to keep the class structure clearly in mind.

I am lucky enough to have a ticket for each of the remaining performances at Glyndebourne. Please revive this soon.

My friend and I really enjoyed the opera.Well done to all the cast.
Good music well played and super singing. B

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