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5 things you (probably) didn’t know about Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera

Mon Jun 30 2014

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We’re currently performing La Finta Giardiniera at Glyndebourne Opera House. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about this Mozart opera, check it out and tell us about it!

1) Mozart was just 18 years old when he composed La Finta Giardiniera.

 

2) This opera was unknown until a copy of the  score was found in the 1970s. Mozart, as a German language lover, wrote a copy of this Italian opera in German called Die Gartnerin aus Liebe in 1780 and it was this score which was known before.

 

3) For a long time, the libretto was attributed to Raniero de Calzabigi and Marco Coltellini, but is now thought to have been written by Giuseppe Petrosellini.

 

4) On December 28th 1774, Leopold Mozart (Mozart’s father) reported in a letter to his wife: “The first rehearsal of Wolfgang’s opera took place at ten in the morning and was so well received that the first performance has been postponed until January 5th in order that the singers may learn their parts more thoroughly and thus, knowing the music perfectly, may act with greater confidence and not spoil the opera.”

 

5) After the premiere, Mozart wrote home: “Thank God! My opera was performed yesterday, the 13th, for the first time and was such a success that it is impossible for me to describe the applause to Mama. In the first place, the whole theatre was so packed that a great many people were turned away. Then after each aria there was a terrific noise, clapping of hands and cries of ‘Viva Maestro.’ ”

 

Illustration above from the title page of a German vocal score to La finta giardiniera, printed around 1829.

(http://web.archive.org/web/20110717002743/http://www.mozartproject.org/compositions/k_196__.html)

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