Georg Friedrich Händel

Oratorio in three acts

Libretto by Thomas Morell


George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Theodora centres on a woman who displays a determination that today appears startling and disturbing. For Theodora, a princess who has converted to Christianity, earthly existence means nothing compared to the promise of eternal salvation. She disobeys the command issued by the Roman emperor to worship Jupiter, preferring instead to die in the name of freedom of religion. In this work, first performed in London in 1750, George Frideric Handel and his librettist Thomas Morell turned the tangible drama displayed in the martyr’s legend as handed down into an inner conflict, thereby creating a contemplative work about religious tolerance, Christian virtues and humanist values which inspired the erstwhile master of evocative opera seria to a work of unprecedented musical introspection. For director Stefan Herheim, this makes Theodora a beacon in the history of musical theatre which takes on new relevance against the background of the spiritual vacuum of consumerism and the lack of spiritual direction that characterise our times. The globally celebrated counter-tenor and Handel specialist Bejun Mehta debuts as a conductor at the MusikTheater an der Wien with the La Folia Barockorchester.


In English with German and English surtitles

Introduction to the work 30 minutes before curtain-up




Discovery package