Thursday, 3 April 2008

87. Georg Friedric Handel - Rodelinda (1725)


Title: Rodelinda
Performers: Simone Kermes, Marijana Mijanovic, Il Complesso Barroco
Director: Alan Curtis
Year: 2005
Length: 3 hours 20 minutes


After the truly great Handel Opera that was Giulio Cesare, Rodelinda pales in comparison. It is firstly a much slower paced opera, while Cesare alternated sad arias with vengeance or bright arias, this is mostly composed of mopy arias.

The music is still very good, but it leads to a certain amount of boredom, there is only about 1 minute of chorus at the very end, and the palatial conflict theme is at times too convoluted to keep your attention.

On the other hand Handel has shortened the arias here, while making a bigger number of them, and this is as it should be, avoiding some of the fatigue of the 10 minute long arias in Cesare. But in the whole the Opera is slightly boring.

The music remains at a very high standard and this recording is a great one, the embellishments by the singers are perfect, so if you get any version get this one. I watched it on DVD in the William Christie directed version, but the singing, even with Andreas Scholl as Bertarido was not as interesting as in this recording.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

It was first performed at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket, London, on 13 February 1725. It was produced with the same singers as Tamerlano. There were 14 performances and it was repeated on 18 December 1725, and again on 4 May 1731. It was also performed in Hamburg. The first modern production was in Göttingen on 26 June 1920.

Dove Sei, Andreas Scholl in the Christie Production:

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