Handel's Ariodante (opera in concert)
With Joyce DiDonato (Ariodante), The English Concert, and Harry Bicket (conductor)
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Superstar mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato shines in the title role of Handel's Ariodante in this concert performance from Carnegie Hall, part of their critically acclaimed yearly Handel cycle! A spectacular cast of vocalists joins Harry Bicket and The English Concert, one of the world's finest Baroque orchestras, to bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera.
Following the 1711 premiere of his opera Rinaldo, Handel held a decade-long sway over the world of Italian opera in London, bolstered by his sturdy patron King George I and a relatively empty field of competitors. But by the mid-1720s, his career was teetering at the edge of ruin: King George had died in 1727, Italian opera seria was being progressively undermined by English-language comic opera, and a newly arrived rival composer Niccolò Porpora had managed to lure away many of Handel's vocal stars. In the face of crisis, Handel rose above his difficult circumstances to reinvent himself, both artistically and professionally. It began in 1733 with the unveiling of his magical opera Orlando. Then in 1735, Handel premiered Ariodante at Covent Garden. The work would prove to be one of the composer's most gorgeous and inventive scores, filled to the brim with outstanding arias for each of its principal singers.
Joyce DiDonato appears courtesy of Warner Classics.
Photo © Jennifer Taylor