Handel’s Rinaldo—an opera in three acts first premiered at London’s Queen’s Theater in 1711—is brought to life in a thoroughly contemporary flavor in the Glyndebourne Festival’s 2012 production.
In 1710 Handel arrived in England to oversee the production of his first London opera, Rinaldo, which premiered at the Queen’s Theatre in Haymarket on February 24th, 1711, the day after his 26th birthday. A theatrical spectacular with arias included as a bonus, the plot focuses on the adventures of a knight on a crusade to rescue his love. The sunny and boisterous Rinaldo contrasts sharply with Handel’s mature operas like Ariodante or Alcina.
In 2011 Glyndebourne presented the opera for the first time. The production features a wildly originally staging by Robert Carsen that calls to mind the famous and beloved literary wizard, Harry Potter: Rinaldo is recast as a misfit student, outcast by his peers, who dreams of being a hero. The mixture of dream and reality, threaded through with contemporary references to J.K. Rowling’s magical world, ground Carsen’s Rinaldo in a remarkably modern world, one that is sure to delight and entrance its audiences!
Photo: © Bill Cooper - Glyndebourne Festival Opera