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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: La finta giardiniera

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jan 09, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Part of an epoch-making release of Mozart's complete operas on DVD, here is the 18-year old composer's first mature opera buffa. Hilarity mingles with passionate emotions when belfiore believes he has killed his lover in a fit of jealousy, but then encounters her disguised as gardener sandrina. Famed filmmaker Doris Dorie directs a superb young cast in this tale of love, hate and intrigue across class barriers, all vividly depicted by Mozart's astonishingly rich and varied music.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Veronique Gens, John Mark Ainsley, Alexandra Reinprecht, Markus Werba, Ivor Bolton
  • Directors: Doris Dorrie, Agnes Meth
  • Writers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Producers: Bernhard Fleischer, Salzburger Festspiele
  • Format: Multiple Formats, DTS Surround Sound, Classical, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo), Unknown (DTS 5.1), Unknown (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: German, English, Italian, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 161 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000I8OFL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,744 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: La finta giardiniera" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Alongside Jurgen Flimm, Claus Guth or Pierre Audi, Doris Doerrie is another "star" stage director to take part in the "M22" project, coming from the German movie industry. It is fair to say from the start that her work on "Finta" is very interesting, very detailed and very original. Frau Doerrie moves the plot - completely inane and inept - in the gardening section of a big department store. In this restrained atmosphere, the staging can really focus on the comedy and on the intermingling between the seven principals. While the concept is really innovative and fun, the execution is brilliant too. Because she is a movie director, Doris Doerrie knows how to keep a sense of pace, and to this extent this production is as entertaining as Joachim Schloemer's Finta Semplice in the same collection. More importantly, Frau Doerrie has also done a lot of work on each and every one of the characters, which means that very quickly, an audience unfamiliar with this opera (like I was when I first watched this DVD) can quickly recognize and single out every character. This is pretty remarkable since, as we hinted out above, the libretto by Giuseppe Petrosellini is utterly stupid and non-sensical, and focuses on cardboard characters with no depth whatsoever. As a result, Doris Doerrie's attempt at strengthening the dramatic interest of these people is exactly in line with Mozart's music which, many times in the course of this opera, tells you the opposite of what is written or at least considerably amends the litteral meaning.
Fortunately for us, this production is supported by a very good ensemble cast.
The palm of the best singers goes to the delightful mezzo Ruxandra Donose, who portrays a fragile, long-suffering Ramiro.
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How many eighteen year olds do you know who could write an opera, let alone an opera of this quality? Not bloody many, I'd be willing to wager!

Okay, this opera is pretty much a romp and little more. However, it is a very enjoyable romp and it does contain some music which wouldn't be out of place in Così fan tutte or Les nozze di Figaro. Serpetta, played with great pizzazz and sass by Adriana Kucerová, sings the sort of Opera Buffa arias Despina, in Così fan tutte, would present to us several years later in Mozart's career. The butterfly tattoos, black boots, mobile phone, bubble gum and "colourful Goth" look work very well for Serpetta! See her on the cover of the DVD. She steals the show, by the way.

Don Anchise is played by John Graham-Hall and he reminds of the typical skirt chasing boss who always manages to take himself way too seriously and ends up looking like a buffoon.

Véronique Gens is here, too, as Arminda, an Opera Seria style role. John Mark Ainsley is also in the cast and he is in fine form and enjoying himself immensely.

Ivor Bolton conducts the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg and the orchestra is in good form, although I would have preferred a sharper, punchier and more incisive sound from period instruments.

Doris Dörrie directs and the staging and concept is very entertaining and creative, without being silly. The opera is staged in the gardening section of a major department store! It works well and I actually laughed out loud more than once when I first watched this opera.

I look forward to buying others in the 2006 DG collection of Mozart operas.

As I said in the title of this review, this is a sexy, nutty, funny and fun production. Great entertainment for the whole family.
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Verified Purchase
La finta giardiniera ("The Pretend Garden Girl") is an opera buffa from Mozart's youth (written in 1777, when Mozart was all of 18, with a libretto by Giuseppe Petrosellini). The jealous Il Count Belfiore has attacked and stabbed his mistress, La Marchioness Violante Onesti. Believing he has killed her, Belfiore flees. The frayed, but quite alive Violante disguises herself as one Sandrina and, with her servant, Roberto (who also takes a disguise, as Nardo), she sets out to find Belfiore. Nardo and Sandrina find employment as gardeners for Don Anchise, the Podesta (Governor) of Lagonero. The Podesta falls head over heels for his new gardener while Nardo falls for Serpetto, the housekeeper. The Podesta's niece Arminda enters the story; she was was once the lover of Il Cavalier Ramiro, jilted him, and is now engaged to Count Belfiore. Sandrina eludes the Podesta's constant advances; she's further stressed when she discovers Belfiore's engagement. Tension increases further when Ramiro appears at the estate. The characters are thrown into a whirlwind of confusion: Arminda's engagement is called off when Belfiore is officially charged with the murder of Violante. Sandrina comes to her ex-lover's rescue, revealing that she is Violante, alive and well. Initially, no one believes Sandrina, but Belfiore reasserts his love for Violante. Sandrina and Belfiore go mad in a cave, believing themselves to be gods, but their madness subsides after they fall asleep and reawaken in each other's arms. Arminda decides to marry Ramiro after all, Nardo decides to marry Serpetto and the Podesta will remain single until he finds another Sandrina.

Now what is an artist to do with such a ludicrous plot? As he often did when tackling an absurd libretto, Mozart responded with inspired music.
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