Jean-Christophe Spinosi © Didier Olivré

Dramma per musica in three acts (1711)

Music by Georg Friedrich Händel

Libretto by Giacomo Rossi

Opera in concert in Italian

Saturday, 27 April 2019, 7 pm

Content / Background

Following the success of his Agrippina in Venice, George Frideric Handel was invited to the English court by Charles Montagu, Earl of Manchester. In 1710 the 25-year-old composer travelled to London, stayed for almost a year and scored the biggest operatic success of his life with Rinaldo. This rapturously received premiere at the Queen’s Theatre in February 1711 was instrumental in Handel’s subsequent decision to make the British capital his home. If the librettist Giacomo Rossi is to be believed, the “entire opera was set to music by this astonishing genius in only two weeks, and that in utmost perfection.” Handel did indeed work fast but, pragmatic through and through, also used the popular parody technique: for Rinaldo he borrowed around fifteen musical numbers from earlier compositions and combined them with the new text. In his debut opera for London, Handel brought together many of the most beautiful passages he had ever written with the result that Rinaldo remains a work of dazzling musical brilliance today. No expense was spared for the scenery and props of the premiere either: the audience loved the live sparrows (which not everyone thought was a marvellous idea) and the burning Armida’s chariot. In the battle for Jerusalem, General Goffredo has promised his best warrior Rinaldo the hand of his daughter Almirena in marriage as the spoils of victory. The sorceress Armida, who is fighting on the side of Argante, ruler of Jerusalem, steals Almirena from Rinaldo’s arms. While trying to rescue his betrothed, he too is captured – sirens rob him of his senses and Armida takes him to the same place that she is holding Almirena in. She falls passionately in love with the war hero, but is forced to realise that her feelings are not returned. She is torn between love and hate. Argante is also charmed by Almirena and forgets his hostility towards Goffredo. Armida’s prisoners can initially be rescued, but Rinaldo and Almirena must soon part again because Rinaldo has to complete his mission. Despite intensive plans for revenge hatched by Armida and Argante, Rinaldo — and with him the Christian army — is victorious.

Cast

Conductor

Jean-Christophe Spinosi

Biography
Rinaldo

Filippo Mineccia

Biography
Goffredo

Dara Savinova

Biography
Almirena

Ekaterina Bakanova

Biography
Eustazio

Eric Jurenas

Biography
Argante

Riccardo Novaro

Biography
Armida

Emilie Rose Bry

Biography
Orchestra

Ensemble Matheus

Biography

Tickets Buy tickets now

Rinaldo

Theater an der Wien,Wien

Date/Time Venue/Location Price Ticketlink
Sat, 27.04.20197:00 pm Rinaldo
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
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