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Ariodante

1996
2h 58m
Music
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Cast

Gwynne Howell (King of Scotland)Joan Rodgers (Ginevra)Ann Murray (Ariodante)Paul Nilon (Lurcanio)Christopher Robson (Polinesso)Lesley Garrett (Dalinda)Mark Le Brocq (Odoardo)Carol Grant (Dancers)Kyrie Hardiman (Dancers)Irene Hardy (Dancers)Rachel Lopez de la Niéta (Dancers)Leesa Phillips (Dancers)Sirena Tocco (Dancers)The English National Opera Chorus (Chorus)

Director

Kriss Russman

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Synopsis

On 8th January 1735 at the Covent Garden in London, Georg Friederich Handel presented his new opera Ariodante on a libretto by Antonio Salvi adapted by Paolo Rolli and inspired by Ariosto. The opera did not immediately win public favour and thus failed to furnish a definitive solution for the fate of Handel's company, but with time it was to be understood and appreciated and has remained on playbills among the more successful and interesting titles. Handel's particular attention to the expressive aspect was most probably the reason for the opera's limited commercial success: the characters fit only partially into the customary types of opera of the day. The tendency to formulate autonomous patterns in the expressive genre is also underlined by an illustrious contemporary, John Mainwaring, in his Memoirs of the life of George Frederick Handel. Extraordinary is also the strength of the instrumental composition, which again in Ariodante is intended now as support to the voices now as independent, coinciding with steps in the sinfonia and with delightful dance motives. In this production of the Spoleto Festival, at his 50th anniversary, Alan Curtis conducts the Complesso Barocco and an extraordinarily agile Ann Hallenberg in the title role. Scenes and costumes by John Pascoe. Together with Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda, Ariodante is considered one of Handel's operatic masterpieces. It was composed for London's Covent Garden theatre, where it was first performed on January 8th, 1735. Alan Curtis and his Complesso Barocco rank among the best specialists in baroque music, and regularly record for Virgin, Deutsche Grammophone and now also for Dynamic. Thanks to the interesting and personal touch of the director Alan Pascoe, this production comes across as a very credible show. Pascoe and Curtis, incidentally, already gained remarkable success with Vivaldi's Ercole sul Termodonte, published by Dynamic in 2007

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