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Mozart: Overture to “The Feigned Gardener”

Here’s a hint: what love grafts together, let no one shear apart…

Written when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was eighteen, this comic romp is a long way from the simplicity of his first opera (written when he was eight), pointing instead to the complexity, depth and emotion of his late operas.

The odd title doesn’t translate well, and English productions are sometimes mounted re-titled as Sandrina’s Secret.

The plot involves a noblewoman who is presumed dead after a fight with her lover, only to resurface disguised as “Sandrina,” the gardener of the local Mayor.

When Sandrina’s former lover arrives, believing her to be dead, a complex equation of mistaken identity, forgiveness, and love must work itself out.

Until a manuscript was discovered in the late 1970s, the original Italian version was believed lost, the opera surviving only as a German Singspiel adaptation from several years later.

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