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Mozart - La Finta Giardiniera / Richard Croft, Ann-Christine Biel, Petteri Salomaa, Stuart Kale, Britt-Marie Aruhn, Arnold Ostman, Drottningholm Theatre

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Libretto by GIUSEPPE PETROSELLINI

Don Anchise, Podestà di Lagonero: STUART KALE
La Marchesa Violante / Sandrina: BRITT-MARIE ARUHN
Il Contino Belfiore: RICHARD CROFT
Arminda: EVA PILAT
Il Cavalier Ramiro: ANNIKA SKOGLUND
Serpetta: ANN CHRISTINE BIEL
Roberto / Nardo: PETTERI SALOMAA

This perfect exposition starts off with three classic buffo roles: an amorous old man, a wily maid and a handsome young gardener. The Cavaliere offers a serious role à la opera seria. And a female gardener who is finta , in other words a fake, is a mezzo carattere, the title given in opera buffa to roles that are allowed to alternate between the comic and the serious, between sentimentality and drama. With its clever changes between major and minor keys, this plot is anything but clichéd.

Kultur is proud to present Mozart from the intimate setting of Sweden's Drottningholm Court Theatre, dating back to 1766, providing a perfect stage for these operas and featuring excellent casts and superb directors, accompanied by period instruments for a truly authentic experience.

'For true Mozart stick with Drottningholm.' Gramophone

'Excellent standard... notable for the clarity of the period-instrument sound and for a production wholly appropriate to the tiny Drottningholm space.' Gramophone

Chorus and Orchestra of the Drottningholm Court Theatre
Conducted by ARNOLD ÖSTMAN
Stage Direction by GÖRAN JÄRVEFELT
Costumes by BÖRJE EDH and GÖRAN JÄRVEFELT
Choreography by REGINA BECK-FRIIS
Directed and Produced for TV by THOMAS OLOFSSON


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Stuart Kale, Britt Marie Aruhn
  • Directors: Thomas Olofsson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: May 26, 2009
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001URA65Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,517 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mozart - La Finta Giardiniera / Richard Croft, Ann-Christine Biel, Petteri Salomaa, Stuart Kale, Britt-Marie Aruhn, Arnold Ostman, Drottningholm Theatre" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Birman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 20, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Even a casual knowledge of operatic history enables one to list the seven operas that frame Mozart's "Golden Decade": 1781-1791. That same casual listener might have come across operas whose titles, exotic sounding names all, are described as products of Mozart's youth; rarely revived musty curiosities like those antiquarian oddities found in glass cases that were so popular in the 18th and 19th Centuries. This strange taxonomy contains names such as Mitridate Re di Ponto, Ascanio in Alba, Lucio Silla and La Finta Giardiniera. As "museum pieces", we rush past them like the museum was only the first stop on a High School field trip whose true objective was 2 front row seats on the 50 yard line at the Super Bowl, offered first-come-first-served. I, too, am guilty of ignoring these early Mozartean efforts. Like many opera aficionados, I envisioned some toy piano tinkle-music, mindless Rococo Muzak from a musical Fragonard in Pampers. This prejudice, shared by many, must change.

I played this recently released DVD of La Finta Giardiniera three times in sucession, nearly 8 hours stem to stern, because I could not believe what I was hearing. This was no 18th Century elevator music but a fully realized, dramatically mature and musically accomplished (and beautiful as only Mozart reveals the deeper meaning of that word) work of operatic art. It occurred to me that Mozart was a victim of his own supreme genius. That these adolescent works were guilty of not being Le Nozze di Figaro. But even Mozart wrote only one Figaro. From now on, each work should be judged on its own merits: intrinsic musical value and excellence in comparison to other composers of the era. La Finta is superior to any other composer's comic opera of the period (the ones we know about).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
While the libretto is highly comical - sometimes hilariously over-the-moon, Mozart plunges into the depths of each character - developing them into far more than 18th century stereotypes: their motivations and reasons fully believable - even in this fantastically theatrical comedic opera.

The score is one of Mozart's technically most challenging offering great chunks of through-composed music linking one idea to another in unbroken chains in almost Wagnerian style. The young Mozart was clearly a genius, but an untempered one - throwing his entire arsenal of creativity into his first "mature" opera, a work of great musical difficulty. He delivered the work to Munich for a mid December premiere, but an additional 3 weeks of rehearsals were needed before it's January 13th premiere.

The jewel that is the 400 seat Drottningholm Palace Theatre still employs the original 1766 stage machinery - fully intact - (thunder and wave machines, flying chairs, etc.) often used in its productions, the orchestra plays original instruments, wears wigs and dresses in the time period, allowing presentations of as close to a total recreation of 18th century opera as we're likely to see anywhere these days.

Goran Jarvefelt creates a production that feels as if it traveled through time directly from Mozart to us. His use (as well as most of the productions I've seen from here) of the tiny Drottningholm stage is a textbook lesson in the creative use of limited space to its fullest possibilities. He moves us swiftly through courtyards, bed chambers, workrooms, parlours, a wild forest, and a garden/glade.
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By bgarfink on October 20, 2009
Format: DVD
Yes, it's an early Mozart opera, not quite his mature style, although there are touches we will all recognize. I got the feeling that since this was Mozart's first attempt at an opera buffa, he turned to imitating a master of the style, in this case, Pergolesi. There are idiomatic hints of _La Serva Padrona_ all over this opera, and if Mozart had not yet perfected his own style, this was certainly as good a source of material as any.

In addition, this production from Drottningholm is exemplary in many ways. Period instrument are actually sometimes capable of _more_ dramatic contrasts than their modern counterparts, even if they do require fewer decibels to achieve this effect. This makes Don Anchise's aria particularly delightul, with the orchestra illustrating the flutes and oboes he hears in his heart.

Also, although I was unfamiliar with any of the singers, I am impressed with all of them. First, musically: no matter how bumbling, doddering, or enraged the character in the opera, Mozart's music requires a certain lightness and agility, and these singers all achieve it, while at the same time displaying the full expressive ranges of their characters. In this regard, particular kudos go to Petteri Salomaa Eva Pilat, since, as a bass and a dramatic soprano, their training would have been the most likely to lead them to forego melody and pitch in favor of "color," but they never did this once in the entire opera. Likewise, Stuart Kale, as the amorous old (middle-aged, we'd say now) man, while occasionally heavy-handed with the use of his authority, is never heavy-handed in his singing.
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