A tale of jealousy and intrigue, conflict and betrayal: Ariodante, Handel's first work for the then brand-new Theatre Royal in Covent Garden. At this time, the composer was highly caught up in rivalry, bankrupt and stricken by disease. However, rejuvenated by a retreat, he wrote a work based on Ariosts Epos' Orlando furioso. And he succeeded in creating a richly varied and colourful score - including the intimate Aria "Scherza infida" - still regarded today as a particular gem amongst Handel's compositions. Ariodante has, as yet, never been performed at the Wiener Staatsoper and joins Alcina as the second of Handel's operas in the repertoire.

11 November 2019
18:30 - 22:45
2 intermissions
Prices A add to calendar Werkeinführung 30 Minuten vor der Vorstellung im Gustav Mahler-Saal

Cast | 11.11.2019

Conductor Christophe Rousset
Director David McVicar
Set and costume design Vicki Mortimer
Lighting Design Paule Constable
Choreography Colm Seery
Orchestra Les Talens Lyriques
Chorus Gustav Mahler-Choir
Ariodante Stephanie Houtzeel
Ginevra Chen Reiss
Dalinda Hila Fahima
Polinesso Max Emanuel Cencic
Lurcanio Josh Lovell
Il Re di Scozia Peter Kellner


It is a work charged with jealousy and intrigue, with struggles and betrayal: Ariodante, Handel’s first work for the then brand new Theatre Royal in Covent Garden. At that time, the composer was faced with fierce competition, was financially stricken and on the rocks. However, he plucked up his courage while taking the waters and wrote the opera, basing it on Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso. And he composed varied, colourful music, including the intimate aria “Scherza infida”, which is considered one of the special highlights of Handel’s oeuvre to this day. Ariodante has never been heard at the Wiener Staatsoper – but is now the second opera by the composer in the house’s repertoire, alongside Alcina.