Review: Glyndebourne’s La finta giardiniera at the Marlowe


La Finta Giardinier-23-06-14-Glyndebourne-3280

Natalie Turco-Williams, Website Culture Editor, reviews Glyndebourne’s adaptation of La finta giardiniera as the operatic company stops at the Marlowe Theatre as part of its UK tour.

With sets collapsing, naughty jokes and a few strip shows here and there – this quirky and rather cheeky interpretation of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera is not one to be missed.

The show’s youthful and contemporary take on this classic opera was both hilarious, heart warming and fantastic for anyone who’s curious about opera to get their first feel for this traditional Italian art form.

La finta giardiniera tells the story of seven people’s quest for love. This captivating drama focuses on Sandrina AKA La Marchesa Violante who is trying to find her old lover, Count Belfiore, after he stabbed her and fled from the scene.

Sandrina, played by Rosa Feola, and Count Belfiore, played by Enea Scala, were passionate and spectacular not only in their singing but in their acting. Their chemistry on stage was undeniable and had the audience wishing for them to get together from the moment they met, after the unfortunate event.

Although the two leads were brilliant, the real stand-out performance was by Eliana Pretorian as Serpetta, the servant. Her comedic delivery and playful facial expressions bought her character to life as well as the rest of the audience. She was funny, charming and had everyone in uproars of laughter as she went about putting Nardo, her admirer, in his place.

Nardo, played by Mattia Olivieri, was very entertaining as he tried to win over his love. His overly expressive reactions, made the audience laugh with his slap-stick take on the role.

Besides the performance from the actors, what really made this show fantastic was the set and costumes. The set was very avant-garde with its traditional adornments and minimalistic refinement, it really helped the show to hone in its contemporary adaptation. The costumes were stunning and managed to capture a more classic fashion – from corseted dresses to cravats – and added a modern flair to the drama of this remarkable production.

The show comes to the Marlowe as part of this year’s Glyndebourne tour that is currently travelling around the UK.

As part of the tour the cast and orchestra will be performing three operas: La traviata, The Turn of the Screw and La finta giardiniera.

The Glyndebourne tour will be performing The Turn of the Screw on Friday 7 November and La traviata on Saturday 8 November at the Marlowe Theatre. Find out more here.

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