Handel : Rodelinda
When Handel presented his opera Rodelinda in London, it was an intensely creative period for the composer, after the successes of Giulio Cesare (1723) and Tamerlano (1724). Rodelinda completes this trilogy of masterpieces and was a great success. Handel was at the height of his art and of his mastery of the London stage, a decade after his arrival in the capital.
His Italian operas were eagerly awaited by all and this new work fully satisfied the public: at the heart of the middle ages, Rodelinda Queen of Lombardy must defend her throne against the usurper Grimoaldo and remain faithful to her exiled husband Bertarido. His return unleashes plots and passions, but above all an incredible firework of magnificent and exceptionally expressive arias, served by the best singers of the time. The splendid Inga Kalna sings the role of the Queen composed by Handel for Francesca Cuzzoni, Marie-Nicole Lemieux interprets the role of the exiled Bertarido sung by the castrato Senesino, John Mark Ainsley is the horrible Grimoaldo, sung by the tenor Borosini.
A wave of beauty and virtuosity carries away the spectator, still fascinated today by such musical wealth (for an opera composed in a few weeks!). Lovers of baroque fireworks and intoxicating Handel arias, here is your masterpiece!
Extract from Orlando Furioso of Handel - Marie-Nicole Lemieux
Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759)
Opera in three acts on a libretto by Nicola Franceso Haym.
First performed in London on 13th February 1725