La Finta Giardiniera – Mozart
‘…ideally matched by Amanda Holden’s witty, impudently colloquial, consistently fresh-sounding new translation’.
‘… the audience… throughout enjoyed the humour of Amanda Holden’s new English version, devilish clever, not without some modernisms which did not offend…’
AH: Translating this opera was a revelation, I hadn’t heard it before receiving the commission from Nicholas Payne at Opera North. Tim Albery’s brilliant production, designed by Tom Cairns, was the first by a major opera company in the UK and helped to put Mozart’s first great opera on to the repertoire map; it was conducted by Alan Hacker and the cast included Anne Dawson, Juliet Booth, Linda Kitchen, Paul Nilon and Nigel Robson . It opened at the Theatre Royal in York, toured to various venues including the Cheltenham Everyman, in the Summer Festival there and Glyndebourne – in the winter, it was exciting to hear an audience laughing at an English text in that theatre.
The production was restaged in 1994 by Welsh National Opera with Joan Rodgers, Cyndia Sieden, Janice Watson, Paul Groves and Ryland Davies; the conductor was Ivor Bolton.
The title is one of those that’s impossible to translate. It means The Feigned Gardener. Some fanciful suggestions (The Rake’s Progress, The Queen of Spades) led nowhere and – like La bohème – a decision was taken to stick with the original title.
Other productions include: GSMD; Stephen Medcalf, Clive Timms, 1994
Aria from Act II – Vorrei punirti indegno(prescient of ELVIRA in Don Giovanni)
I long to pluck your heart out
and watch you slowly dying;
though I’m aflame with anger,
I can’t restrain the sighing
that proves my love for you.
Traitor, is this your answer
to laugh at my devotion?
Torn between two emotions
of hate and love for you,
I hate you and love you too.
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