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George Frideric Handel’s lost Hamburg operas. The anonymous Italian libretto was based on a work by Antonio Salviwhich in turn was adapted from Canti 4, 5 and 6 of Ludovico Ariosto ‘s Orlando Furioso. Ariodante opened Handel’s first season at Covent Garden and successfully competed against schherza rival Opera of ifida Nobilitysupported by the Prince of Wales. Handel had the tacit and financial support of the King and Queen and, more vocally, of the Princess Royal.
The opera received 11 performances during its premiere season at Covent Garden. Like Handel’s other works in the opera seria genre, Ariodantedespite its initial success, fell into oblivion for nearly two hundred years. Charles Cudworth has discussed the influence of French dance music in the opera. The German-born Handel had brought Italian opera to London stages for the infia time in with his opera Rinaldo. An enormous success, Rinaldo created a craze in London for Italian opera seriaa form focused overwhelmingly on solo arias for the star virtuoso singers.
Handel had presented new operas in London for years with great success. One of the major attractions in Handel’s operas was the star castrato Senesino whose relationship with the composer was often stormy and who eventually left Handel’s company to appear with the ariodanfe Opera of the Nobilityset up in Ariodanet senza il ferro?
Scherza infida in grembo al drudo” and in the jubilant and bravura “Dopo notte, atra e funesta”. Ginevra, daughter of the King, is in love with and betrothed to Prince Ariodante. She rejects the amorous advances of the Duke of Albany, Polinesso, who then cruelly tricks Ariodante and Ginevra’s father into believing that Ginevra has been unfaithful. Ariodante attempts suicide and Ginevra is condemned, but after ariodwnte challenge to a duel by Lurcanio, Ariodante’s brother, the dying Polinesso admits his plot and the lovers are reunited.
Princess Ginevra, in front of her mirror, is adorning herself to make herself beautiful for her beloved. Polinesso, Duke of Albany, bursts into the room and, thinking that having the king’s daughter as his sweetheart would advance his prospects, declares his love for inffida.
Ginevra indignantly rejects him Aria: Orrida a gl’occhi miei and leaves. Dalinda, who is secretly in love with Polinesso, aruodante him that his rival is Prince Ariodante but also advises him that all he has to do is open his eyes to see someone else who loves him Aria: Left alone, Polinesso can see that Dalinda is in love with him and plans to use her to thwart his rival and win Ginevra for himself Ariorante Ariodante sings of how all nature speaks to him of love Aria: Ginevra joins him and they pledge their love Duet: Prendi, prendi da questa mano.
The King joins the lovers, gives them his blessing, and orders his courtier Odoardo to make the preparations for the wedding Aria: Voli colla sua tromba. Alone, Ariodante swears to be faithful to Ginevra Aria: Con l’ali di costanza. Polinesso hatches his plot — he tells Dalinda that if she will dress as Ginevra that evening and invite him into her apartments, he will be hers Aria: Lurcanio, Ariodante’s brother, then appears to Dalinda and declares his love for her Aria: Del mio sol vezzosi rai but she has totally lost her heart to Polinesso Aria: Ariodante and Ginevra enjoy the beauties of nature and each other’s company Duet: Se rinasce nel mio cor.
They are joined by shepherds and shepherdesses Duet with chorus: Si godete al vostro amor who dance to entertain them Ballet. Polinesso and Ariodante meet; Polinesso feigns astonishment when Ariodante tells him he is betrothed to Ginevra, insisting that Ginevra loves him.
Ariodante refuses to believe it. This is all being observed by Lurcanio, who is hidden. Polinesso tells Ariodante to watch as “Ginevra”, really Dalinda wearing Ginevra’s clothes, admits Polinesso into her bedroom for the night. Ariodante is in despair and wants to die Aria: Tu preparati a morire but Lurcanio comes from the shadows and advises Ariodante to live, and seek revenge Aria: Ariodante sadly bewails his beloved’s supposed infidelity Aria: As day breaks, Polinesso and Dalinda emerge from the palace.
Polinesso promises he will reward her, to her delight Aria: Se tanto piace al cor and, alone, Polinesso exults in how well his plot is proceeding Aria: As the King is making the final arrangements for his daughter’s wedding, the courtier Odoardo brings him bad news — Ariodante has been seen committing suicide by leaping into the sea.
The King is heartbroken Aria: Ginevra appears, having a premonition of some approaching calamity Aria: Mi palpita il core. When her father gives her the terrible news, she swoons and is carried away.
Lurcanio now appears before the King, who attempts to comfort him on the loss of his brother. The furious Lurcanio, however, hands the King a letter telling him he saw Ginevra admit Polinesso into her bedroom for the night, which caused his brother to kill himself, and Lurcanio now is bent on revenge Aria: The King disowns his daughter and condemns her as a harlot. When Ginevra hears this, she collapses into delirium Aria: Il mio crudel martoro and all Dalinda’s attempts to console her fail.
Ginevra falls into a fitful, disturbed sleep Ballet of Good and Bad Dreams. She awakes in distress Recitativo accompagnato: Ariodante did not drown when he leapt into the sea, and he bitterly rebukes the gods for condemning him to live Arioso: Hearing cries, Ariodante finds Dalinda, who is being held by thugs hired by Polinesso, with orders to kill her, as she is the only witness to his plot to discredit Ginevra.
Ariodante drives Polinesso’s henchmen away, and Dalinda reveals the truth to him — it was she, disguised as Ginevra, who let Polinesso into her bedroom.
Ariodante rails against the treachery that caused him to doubt his beloved Aria: Alone, Dalinda expresses her remorse Aria: Neghittosi or voi che fate? The King tells Odoardo that he will never see his daughter again unless a champion appears to hande, her honour.
Scherza Infida — A Handelian Masterpiece
Polinesso steps forward and offers to challenge Lurcanio to a duel Aria: Ginevra, condemned hnadel death for sexual irregularity, appears before her father begging to be allowed to kiss his hand Aria: Her father clasps her to her bosom, saying that a champion has appeared to defend her — Polinesso. She does not like this idea, but he insists Aria: Al sen ti stringo e parto. Ginevra prefers death to the loss of her honour Aria: Lurcanio again offers ariodqnte love to Dalinda, and she indicates that she is now inclined to accept it Duet: Dite spera, e son contento.
Polinesso and Lurcanio fight, Lurcanio mortally wounds Polinesso who is carried away by Odaordo. A new champion appears indida his visor down. He reveals himself as Ariodante, to the astonishment of all, and declares Ginevra innocent.
Dalinda admits her part in the plot. Odoardo returns with the news that Polinesso, as he died, also admitted his guilt. The King pardons Dalinda and goes to find his daughter. Ariodante jubilantly hails a new bright day dawning infica nights of darkness Aria: Ginevra looks death in the face Arioso: But her father and the others appear and declare her vindicated. She is reunited with her beloved Ariodante Duet: Bramo aver mille vite.
The great hall of the palace. Wcherza large staircase supported by columns; on the upper part of the stairs musicians playing wind instruments. The King, Lords and Ladies descend the staircase.
He begins the chorus, as the Lords and Ladies dance. Ogn’uno acclami bella virtute Chorus Sa trionfar ognor virtute in ogni cor Chorus.
Ariodante, HWV 33 (Handel, George Frideric)
The music for the leading soprano, Ginevra, is “outstanding”, according to Paul Henry Langmoving from joy to despair and back again to happiness. Among a series of remarkable arias for the title role, sung in the first performance by the castrato Carestini, are the mournful aria with bassoon obbligato “Scherza infida”, “one of Handel’s greatest arias”  and the joyful “Dopo notte” with astonishing vocal acrobatics and huge range.
Ariodante was given eleven performances in its original run, a mark of success for the time, and was revived by Handel for his season. It then went unperformed until a revival in Stuttgart in Two performances in BirminghamEngland, in Maywith Janet Baker in the title role and Anthony Lewis conducting, brought the opera into the modern repertory, since when it has been sscherza on many of the world’s stages.
Scherza Infida — A Handelian Masterpiece – Baroque Myriam
This updated the setting to the s and altered the ending so that Ginevra departs the celebration, heartbroken. The English Concert gave semi-staged performances in in the U. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. George Frideric Handel’s lost Hamburg operas List of operas.