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William Christie, the specialist in Baroque music, and his established Les Arts Florissants, return to the Teatro Real with one of the jewels of this repertory; one of the most delicate of Händel’s works: Ariodante. Inspired by the epic poem, Orlando furioso, by Ludovico Ariosto, the score has some of the most difficult da capo arias by the German composer.

Ambition, betrayal, lies and jealousy trigger the turbulent events destined to destroy the love between Ariodante and Ginevra. In the end, truth prevails and the love triumphs.    


Opera seria in three acts

Music by Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

Libretto by Antonio Salvi, after the libretto from Ginevra Principessa di Scozia (1708) by Giacomo Antonio Perti, based on cantos IV and VI of the poem Orlando furioso (1532) by Ludovico Ariosto

Premierd at the Covent Garden Theatre in London on 8 January 1735
Premierd at the Teatro Real in concert version on 29 March 2007

Les Arts Florissants

Opera in concert version

Approximate running time

3 hours and 10 minutes
Part I: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Intermission: 25 minutos
Part II: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Starting Point

Ariodante was the first opera Handel composed for Covent Garden and its score includes some of the most inspired moments in his catalogue. The simplicity and lineal nature of the story, which is unusual in Baroque opera, confers even more depth to the work and as a result, the characters attain deep humanity. The story revolves around Prince Ariodante, who is to marry Ginevra, daughter of the King of Scotland. However, the vile Polinesso accuses him of adultery, thereby breaking their engagement. With this, he hopes to marry Ginevra and inherit the throne from her father. The truth is revealed in the end and after the turbulent events, the two lovers are reconciled.

The wide range of emotions of the protagonists is seen in this music of brilliant diversity of expression that maintains the dramatic tension from beginning to end. Some of the arias are the most demanding in Handel. Ariodante invites the spectator to take part in a roller coaster journey of love, desperation, fury and compassion. 

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: William Christie
· - ·
  • Ariodante: Kate Lindsey
  • Ginevra: Chen Reiss
  • The King: Wilhelm Schwinghammer
  • Lurcanio: Rainer Trost
  • Dalinda: Hila Fahima
  • Polinesso: Christophe Dumaux
  • Odoardo: Anthony Gregory

Performance Dates

  • 18 MAR (S) 18:00h
  • Place: Main Auditorium

Programme of show

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