This year, Ryedale Festival Opera tours to Perth Concert Hall to perform John Warrack’s new translation of Mozart’s comic opera La Finta Giardiniera – The Garden of Disguises on Thursday 21 September. Conducted by the acclaimed Eamonn Dougan, the opera is directed by Nina Brazier – ‘one of Britain's leading young directors of opera’ The Observer – with a cast of award-winning young singers and players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble.
Opera Director Nina Brazier, said: ‘Designer Laura Stanfield and I have created a production inspired by the sun-drenched cypresses of Tuscany in the early 1930s. Taking our cue from the charming, quintessentially English translation by Ryedale Festival's President John Warrack, and as a reflection of the self-absorbed nature of Mozart's characters, we find a group of British expats living a sheltered existence with little concern for the outside world, staying in the safe haven of the Podestà's villa. We are delighted to have an outstanding cast of emerging singers this year, who are bringing this frothy comedy to life with real energy and passion.’
Christopher Glynn, Artistic Director of Ryedale Festival, said: ‘Each year the Ryedale Festival presents an opera showcasing the talents of emerging artists and this year’s offering is one not to be missed. Mozart’s The Garden of Disguises is an irresistible tangle of love and lyricism.’
The cast includes Robin Horgan (Podesta), Alice Privett (Sandrina), Clare Tunney (Arminda), Jessica Cale (Serpetta), Harry Thatcher (Nardo), Kieran Carrel (Belfiore) and Anna Harvey (Ramiro).
Seven characters with complicated love lives meet an eighteen-year-old composer full of imagination and musical genius. Mozart’s The Garden of Disguises, is full of lyrical beauty, human foibles and dramatic intrigue. Sandrina is a high-born girl, so why has she disguised herself as a gardener to find work in the Mayor’s household? The Mayor falls head-over-heels in love with his new ‘garden girl’, much to the annoyance of his servant, Serpetta, who would like to marry her rich employer. The good-natured (but poor) Nardo is waiting in the wings if she doesn’t! Meanwhile, the mayor’s highly-strung niece Arminda is supposed to marry Ramiro, but only has eyes for Belfiore. He’s a man with something to hide, who feels a strange, inexplicable and entirely reciprocated attraction to the disguised Sandrina… This is an opera of secrets and lies, but also of forgiveness and reconciliation – and these are qualities that Mozart can express in music like none other.