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24 Ensemble in in 'La Finta Giardiniera.' Photo (c) Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera, 2015

La finta giardiniera 2015

July 25 - August 21, 2015

Down the Garden Path, with Mozart…

On paper, the misdirected lovers in La finta giardiniera can seem a bit confused — even crazy. But once we join them in the garden where the high-born “phony gardener” of the opera’s title is in working disguise…well, that’s when things get really crazy.

Music By
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Attributed to Giuseppe Petrosellini


Act I

The mayor, or the “Podesta,” is much taken with his new gardener Sandrina to the chagrin of his jealous housekeeper Serpetta. However, Sandrina is actually the Marchioness Violante in disguise, searching for her lover Belfiore, who a year ago stabbed her in a fit of jealousy and fled, believing her dead. Violante’s servant Roberto, posing as Sandrina’s cousin Nardo, is working as the Podesta’s manservant and has fallen for Serpetta.

Arminda, the Podesta’s niece, has meanwhile spurned her admirer Ramiro for a new, aristocratic suitor. Sandrina is distraught to discover that this new suitor is none other than her own errant lover, Count Belfiore. When Belfiore arrives, he realizes that Sandrina is actually Violante, but she refuses to admit her true identity. Arminda senses that something is awry and fears losing Belfiore to Sandrina, which rekindles Ramiro’s hope of winning Arminda back.

Act II

After dismissing Ramiro, Arminda confronts Belfiore about Sandrina, while Nardo woos Serpetta in vain. Sandrina con­tinues to deny that she is Violante, and goes so far as to tell Belfiore that she witnessed the marchioness’s death. When Ramiro produces an arrest warrant accusing Belfiore of murder, Sandrina finally confesses the truth. But left alone with Belfiore, she claims that her admission was merely a ruse to save him from arrest, and his confusion drives him to increasing despair.

Her marriage to Belfiore threatened, Arminda has Sandrina abducted and left to die in the nearby forest. Nardo discovers what Arminda has done and leaves to search for Sandrina, followed by the others. As night falls over the woods, a terri­fied Sandrina takes shelter in a cave. The searchers arrive in separate groups, unbeknownst to each other, and in the dark­ness identities are mistaken and chaos ensues. Unable to cope with their tortured and confused feelings for each other, Belfiore and Sandrina retreat into madness as the others watch in horror.


Sandrina and Belfiore awaken at dawn, their senses restored, and decide that they must never part. Arminda gives in to Ramiro and agrees to marry him, while Serpetta accepts Nardo’s advances. Only the Podesta is left alone, hopeful that another Sandrina will one day cross his path.


Heidi Stober headshot

Heidi Stober



William Burden headshot

William Burden


The Podestà

Susanna Phillips headshot

Susanna Phillips



Joel Prieto headshot

Joel Prieto


Count Belfiore

Cecelia Hall headshot

Cecelia Hall



Laura Tatulescu headshot

Laura Tatulescu



Joshua Hopkins headshot

Joshua Hopkins



Harry Bicket Headshot

Harry Bicket


Tim Albery headshot

Tim Albery


Hildegard Bechtler headshot

Hildegard Bechtler

Scenic Designer

Jon Morrell headshot

Jon Morrell

Costume Designer

Thomas C Hase

Thomas C. Hase

Lighting Designer