The English Concert
Chœurs de l’Opéra national de Paris
Co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York
Sung in Italian with English/French surtitles
Running time: 3 hours 55 mins with 2 intervals
In collaboration with Opéra de Paris, The English Concert will present Ariodante at the Palais Garnier, Paris (17 April – 20 May).
Few of Handel’s operas invoke drama quite so immediately as Ariodante. It is a rare example of opera seria with a relatable plot and is Handel’s only opera to be set in the British Isles.
From the opening scene, in which Ginevra, Princess of Scotland, and Ariodante passionately declare their love for one another, Handel’s score really brings his characters to life, as they each move through emotional journeys traversing infatuation, rejection, deceit, betrayal and despair.
Ariodante was the first new opera composed by Handel for the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden, and he made full use of the company’s resources, writing ballet sequences for Marie Sallé’s famed dance company and stirring choruses for the resident singers.
Although it ran for eleven performances, Ariodante was virtually forgotten until the mid-twentieth century, but has since become one of the best-loved of Handel’s operas. In this new collaborative production between the Opéra de Paris and The English Concert, the creative minds of The English Concert’s Artistic Director Harry Bicket and Director Robert Carsen present Handel’s opera in a fresh and exciting setting. Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo takes the title role, with soprano Olga Kulchynska as Ginevra. They are joined by soprano Tamara Banjesevic, countertenor Christophe Dumaux, tenors Eric Ferring and Enrico Casari, and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni.