Ariodante

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Ariodante
by George Frideric Handel
Haendel.jpg
Handel in 1733
Genre Opera seria in 3 acts
Librettist Riccardo Broschi
Language Italian
Premiere Covent Garden
London, England
8 January 1735

Ariodante is an opera seria in three acts with music by George Frideric Handel. The libretto was based on parts of Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Handel put some ballet music in the opera for the famous dancer Marie Sallé.

The opera was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 8 January 1735. It opened Handel's first season at Covent Garden. It was a great success. It was performed 11 times during its premiere season.[1]

It eventually was forgotten. The score was published in the early 1960s.[2] In the 1970s, the work was revived. It is thought to be one of Handel's best operas.

Roles[change | edit source]

  • Ariodante, a vassal prince - mezzo-soprano castrato
  • Ginevra, daughter of the King of Scotland, betrothed to Ariodante - soprano
  • Dalinda, attendant on Ginevra, secretly in love with Polinesso - soprano
  • Polinesso, Duke of Albany - alto
  • Lurcanio, Ariodante's brother - tenor
  • King of Scotland - bass
  • Odoardo, favorite of the king - tenor

Story[change | edit source]

Ginerva is engaged to Ariodante. Polinesso is in love with her. He uses Dalinda to trick Ariodante. She tells Ariodante that Ginerva is Polinesso's lover. The King disowns Ginerva. Ariodante is reported to have killed himself. Polinesso then sends his agents to kill Dalinda because she was the only witness to his plot. Ariodante is alive. He drives off the assassins. Polinesso eants to win the King’s favour. He offers to defend Ginerva's honour in a tournament. He is wounded by Lurcanio. Ariodante has learned about Polinesso’s plot from Dalinda. He now appears. He offers himself as Ginevra’s champion. Polinesso confesses his guilt and dies. Ginevra is pardoned by the King.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Baxter, Robert (1985). "Ariodante". The Opera Quarterly 3 (3): 191–192. doi:10.1093/oq/3.3.191. http://oq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/3/3/191. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  2. "J.A.W." (no full name given), "Reviews of Music: Collected Editions – Ariodante (edited by Karl-Josef Fürth) (January 1962). Music & Letters, 43 (1): pp. 83–84.
  • Dean, Winton (2006). Handel's Operas, 1726–1741. Boydell Press. ISBN 1843832682. The second of the two-volume definitive reference on the operas of Handel.

Other websites[change | edit source]