Oreste is an opera by George Frideric Handel in three acts. The libretto was anonymously adapted from Giangualberto Barlocci’s L’Oreste, in turn adapted from Euripides' Iphigeneia in Tauris; the opera is a pasticcio, meaning that the music of the arias was assembled from earlier works other operas and cantatas by Handel. The recitatives and parts of the dances are the only parts composed for this work. Handel had put together similar works before, fitting the music of pre-existent arias to new words, but this was the first time he had made an opera in this way using his own music, he assembled a collection of his arias from the previous years, ranging from Agrippina of 1709 to Sosarme of 1732, binding the pre-existent music seamlessly together with the newly-written recitatives to create a new musical drama. The opera is in Italian, although it was performed in England; the lead role was written for the castrato Giovanni Carestini. It is now performed by either a soprano; the opera was first performed at Covent Garden Theatre on 18 December 1734.
A notice in the London press said:Last Night their Majesties were at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden, to see the Opera of Orestes, perform’d with great Applause.. The work was performed three times in Handel's lifetime and was first revived in 1988. Among other performances, Oreste received a staging by the English Bach Festival at the Linbury Studio Theatre in the Royal Opera House, London, in 2000, was staged for the first time in the USA at Juilliard School in 2003; the work was staged by the Royal Opera, London, at Wilton's Music Hall in 2016. Scene: Tauris, in legendary antiquityYears before the action of the opera, the young princess Ifigenia narrowly escaped death by sacrifice at the hands of her father, Agamemnon. At the last moment the goddess Diana, to whom the sacrifice was to be made and replaced Ifigenia on the altar with a deer, saving the girl and sweeping her off to Tauris, she has since been made a priestess at the temple of Diana in Tauris, a position in which she has the gruesome task of ritually sacrificing foreigners who land on King Toante's shores.
Ifigenia hates her forced religious servitude and has had a prophetic dream about her younger brother Oreste and believes that he is dead. Meanwhile, Oreste has killed his mother Clytemnestra to avenge his father Agamemnon with assistance from his friend Pilade, he goes through periodic fits of madness. To this mythological material adapted from Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris, Oreste adds the character of Oreste's wife Hermione, searching for him to aid him in his quest for restoration of his mind and peace of spirit, adds another character, not present in the Euripides play. Sacred Grove of Diana with a statue of the goddess - Oreste is tormented both by personal remorse for the killing of his mother and by the furies. Wandering the world in a restless search for relief, he has been shipwrecked on the coast of Tauris, he prays to the goddess for forgiveness. Ifigenia enters with a retinue of priests and does not recognise the stranger as her brother, whom she has not seen since childhood and she believes to be dead.
It is Ifigenia's duty to sacrifice strangers who appear in the kingdom to Diana, but she does not want to do this and advises the stranger to take refuge in the temple of Diana, to which he agrees. Filotete,captain of King Toante's guard, in love with Ifigenia and she with him and promises to help her to try to save the young stranger from death, for which Ifigenia is grateful. Left alone, Filotete is happy that Ifigenia trusts him to help her and looks forward to her love as his reward. A seaport with ships at anchor - Ermione has arrived in Tauris, in search of her husband Oreste, she is met by Pilade, faithful friend of Oreste, but they are both arrested by Filotete as foreigners. King Toante decrees that according to law both Ermione and Pilade must be put to death as human sacrifices to the goddess Diana, but changes his mind, orders that Pilade only will be killed. Left alone with Ermione, he tells her he has fallen in love with her and will save her life if she will be his, she refuses whereupon he warns her to beware his wrath.
Left alone, Ermione laments her fate. The act concludes with a set of dances for the Grecian sailors; the forecourt of the temple of Diana - The act begins with an introductory sinfonia. Oreste is in the temple where he has taken refuge at Ifigenia's advice when he sees his friend Pilade in chains, dragged in ready to be sacrificed to the goddess. Oreste swears. Ifigenia intervenes however, capitalising on Filotete's love for her, persuades him to allow Oreste to leave the temple freely. Oreste is reluctant to leave Pilade in danger but Pilade insists Oreste save himself,and is led away. In an accompanied recitative and aria, Oreste rails against the gods for their cruelty. Royal garden with a gate that leads to the sea - Ifigenia shows Oreste the way to the sea and urges him to flee. Alone, Oreste expresses his thanks to the gods for sending him the "noble virgin" who has rescued him but feels guilty for leaving his friend Pilade in danger of death. Ermione has traced Oreste
The Book of Psalms referred to as Psalms or "the Psalms", is the first book of the Ketuvim, the third section of the Hebrew Bible, thus a book of the Christian Old Testament. The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, meaning "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music"; the book is an anthology of individual psalms, with 150 in the Jewish and Western Christian tradition and more in the Eastern Christian churches. Many are linked to the name of David; the Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, each closing with a doxology —these divisions were introduced by the final editors to imitate the five-fold division of the Torah: Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Book 5 Many psalms have individual superscriptions, ranging from lengthy comments to a single word. Over a third appear to be musical directions, addressed to the "leader" or "choirmaster", including such statements as "with stringed instruments" and "according to lilies". Others appear to be references to types of musical composition, such as "A psalm" and "Song", or directions regarding the occasion for using the psalm.
Many carry the names of individuals, the most common being of David, thirteen of these relate explicitly to incidents in the king's life. Others named include Asaph, the sons of Korah, Moses, Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman the Ezrahite; the LXX, the Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate each associate several Psalms with Haggai and Zechariah. The LXX attributes several Psalms to Ezekiel and to Jeremiah. Psalms are identified by a sequence number preceded by the abbreviation "Ps." Numbering of the Psalms differs -- by one, see table -- between Greek manuscripts. Protestant translations use the Hebrew numbering, but other Christian traditions vary: Catholic official liturgical texts follow the Hebrew numbering since 1969; the variance between Massorah and Septuagint texts in this numeration is enough due to a gradual neglect of the original poetic form of the Psalms. It is admitted that Pss. 9 and 10 were a single acrostic poem. Pss. 42 and 43 are shown by identity of subject, of metrical structure and of refrain, to be three strophes of one and the same poem.
The Hebrew text is correct in counting as one Ps. 146 and Ps. 147. Liturgical usage would seem to have split up these and several other psalms. Zenner combines into. 1, 2, 3, 4. A choral ode would seem to have been the original form of Pss. 14 and 70. The two strophes and the epode are Ps. 14. It is noteworthy that, on the breaking up of the original ode, each portion crept twice into the Psalter: Ps. 14 = 53, Ps. 70 = 40:14–18. Other such duplicated portions of psalms are Ps. 108:2–6 = Ps. 57:8–12. This loss of the original form of some of the psalms is allowed by the Biblical Commission to have been due to liturgical practices, neglect by copyists, or other causes; the Septuagint, present in Eastern Orthodox churches, includes a Psalm 151. Some versions of the Peshitta include Psalms 152–155. There are the Psalms of Solomon, which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation; these and other indications suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of 150 psalms were selected from a wider set.
Hermann Gunkel's pioneering form-critical work on the psalms sought to provide a new and meaningful context in which to interpret individual psalms—not by looking at their literary context within the Psalter, but by bringing together psalms of the same genre from throughout the Psalter. Gunkel divided the psalms into five primary types: Hymns, songs of praise for God's work in creation or history, they open with a call to praise, describe the motivation for praise, conclude with a repetition of the call. Two sub-categories are "enthronement psalms", celebrating the enthronement of Yahweh as king, Zion psalms, glorifying Mount Zion, God's dwelling-place in Jerusalem. Gunkel described a special subset of "eschatological hymns" which includes themes of future restoration or of judgment. Communal laments. Both communal and individual laments but not always include the following elements: address to God, description of suffering, cursing of the party responsib
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well-known for his operas, oratorios and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712, he was influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition. Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. Musicologist Winton Dean writes; as Alexander's Feast was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah he never composed an Italian opera again. Blind, having lived in England for nearly fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man, his funeral was given full state honours, he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London. Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Messiah, Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks remaining steadfastly popular.
One of his four coronation anthems, Zadok the Priest, composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing. Another of his English oratorios, has remained popular, with the Sinfonia that opens act 3 featuring at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and informed musical performance, interest in Handel's operas has grown. Handel was born in 1685 to Georg Händel and Dorothea Taust, his father, aged sixty-three when George Frideric was born, was an eminent barber-surgeon who served the court of Saxe-Weissenfels and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Georg Händel was the son of a coppersmith, Valentin Händel, who had emigrated from Eisleben in 1608 with his first wife Anna Belching, the daughter of a master coppersmith, they were Protestants and chose reliably Protestant Saxony over Silesia, a Hapsburg possession, as religious tensions mounted in the years before the Thirty Years War.
Halle was a prosperous city, home of a salt-mining industry and center of trade. The Margrave of Brandenburg became the administrator of the archiepiscopal territories of Mainz, including Magdeburg when they converted, by the early 17th century held his court in Halle, which attracted renowned musicians; the smaller churches all had "able organists and fair choirs", humanities and the letters thrived. The Thirty Years War brought extensive destruction to Halle, by the 1680s it was impoverished. However, since the middle of the war the city had been under the administration of the Duke of Saxony, soon after the end of the war he would bring musicians trained in Dresden to his court in Weissenfels; the arts and music, flourished only among the higher strata, of which Handel's family was not a member. Georg Händel was born at the beginning of the war, was apprenticed to a barber in Halle at the age of 14, after his father died; when he was 20, he married the widow of the official barber-surgeon of a suburb of Halle, inheriting his practice.
With this, Georg determinedly began the process of becoming self-made. Anna died in 1682. Within a year Georg married again, this time to the daughter of a Lutheran minister, Pastor Georg Taust of the Church of St. Bartholomew in Giebichtenstein, who himself came from a long line of Lutheran pastors. Handel was the second child of this marriage. Two younger sisters were born after the birth of George Frideric: Dorthea Sophia, born 6 October 1687, Johanna Christiana, born 10 January 1690. Early in his life Handel is reported to have attended the gymnasium in Halle, where the headmaster, Johann Praetorius, was reputed to be an ardent musician. Whether Handel remained there or for how long is unknown, but many biographers suggest that he was withdrawn from school by his father, based on the characterization of him by Handel's first biographer, John Mainwaring. Mainwaring is the source for all information of Handel's childhood, much of that information came from J. C. Smith, Jr. Handel's confidant and copyist.
Whether it came from Smith or elsewhere, Mainwaring relates misinformation. It is from Mainwaring that the portrait comes of Handel's father as implacably opposed to any musical education. Mainwaring writes that Georg Händel was "alarmed" at Handel's early propensity for music, "took every measure to oppose it", including forbidding any musical instrument in the house and preventing Handel from going to any house where they might be found; this did nothing to dampen young Handel's inclination. Mainwaring tells the story of Handel's
Teseo is an opera seria with music by George Frideric Handel, the only Handel opera, in five acts. The Italian-language libretto was after Philippe Quinault's Thésée, it was Handel's third London opera, intended to follow the success of Rinaldo after the unpopular Il pastor fido. First performed on 10 January 1713,Teseo featured "magical" effects such as flying dragons, transformation scenes and apparitions and had a cast of notable Italian opera singers, it was a success with London audiences, receiving thirteen performances though the stage machinery for the "magical" effects broke down, would have received more performances had not one of the theatre's managers run away with the box office receipts. The opera was premiered at the Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket on 10 January 1713, it received an additional 12 performances through 16 May 1713. The singers included the castratos Valentino Urbani. Between 1713 and 1984, there were only two revivals, the first being the revival under Fritz Lehmann in Göttingen on 29 June 1947.
As with all Baroque opera seria, Teseo went unperformed for many years, but with the revival of interest in Baroque music and informed musical performance since the 1960s,Teseo, like all Handel operas, receives performances at festivals and opera houses today. Among other productions, the Handel Festival, Halle performed the work in 2003, the Frankfurt Opera mounted a production in 2013, the work received a staging at the Theater an der Wien in 2018. Scene:Athens, in legendary antiquityKing Egeo of Athens, years before the action begins, had sent away his baby son to a far-off land. Now a grown man, the hero Teseo is fighting on behalf of Athens, his identity as the king's son unknown to himself or others. Teseo is engaged in battle against Athens' foes. Princess Agilea, the ward of King Egeo, is concerned for Teseo's safety, as she confides to her companion the young maiden Clizia, for Agilea has fallen hopelessly in love with Teseo. Clizia has a boyfriend, whom she promises to love always, but when she asks him to find out what he can about Teseo's safety, he becomes jealous.
The Athenians have been victorious in battle, King Egeo declares that his announced marriage to Medea, a sorceress, is now no longer suitable for such a mighty sovereign as himself and he will take Princess Agilea as his bride. Agilea bewails her cruel fate, having no wish to be a Queen, but to be allowed to marry the man she loves, Teseo. Medea is furious at the humiliation caused to her by the King's rejection. Arcane, jealous of Teseo because of his misinterpretation of his sweetheart Clizia's concern for him, warns the King not to trust Teseo who, Arcane suggests, will want to throw Egeo off the throne and take his place now that he has become such a military hero. Medea meanwhile sows seeds of distrust in Teseo's mind – the King is jealous of him, Medea says, only she knows how to treat the King to allay this bad feeling. Teseo tells Medea. Medea, full of hatred, vows revenge for the insults. Arcane has decided to seek marriage to Clizia; the King, learning that Agilea is in love not with him but with Teseo, does not wish to force her to marry him and has given his consent for Agilea and Teseo to be united.
The lovers are overjoyed at this news but Medea and rejected once more, bursts into the room where Agilea and Teseo are celebrating their reunion and, by casting spells, changes the scene to a desert full of terrifying apparitions who carry Agilea away. The King is told by Arcane of; the horrified Egeo swears. In the enchanted realm where Agilea is captive, Medea tells her she must agree to marry the King instead of Teseo, or the hero will meet his death. Medea shows her a vision of the sleeping Teseo. Agilea agrees to renounce him and marry the King instead to save Teseo's life, whereupon Medea transforms the scene to a paradisaical realm where Teseo hears Agilea's voice tearfully telling him she no longer loves him. Agilea's sorrow moves the heart of Medea who informs the lovers she will no longer attempt to part them, to the joy of Teseo and Agilea. Medea's sympathy for Teseo and Agilea's love did not last long. Teseo and Agilea enter with their friends; the King offers to drink to their happiness and gives Teseo the poisoned drink to toast with in return.
Teseo draws his sword to swear his loyalty to the King and is about to drink the poisoned beverage when the King recognises the sword as the one he had sent with his baby son years before so that he would be able to recognise him when grown up. The King embraces him as his son. Not only will Teseo and Agilea now live in married happiness and Clizia can marry too; the enraged Medea appears on a flying chariot drawn by fire-breathing dragons. Swearing vengeance, she orders the dragons to set the palace on fire, but the goddess Minerva descends from heaven, banishes Medea, blesses the King, the two pairs of lovers, Athens; the German-born Handel, after spending some of his early career composing operas and other pieces in Italy, settled in London, where in 1711 he had brought Italian opera for the first time with his opera Rinaldo. A tremendous success, Rinaldo created a craze in Lo
Farinelli was the stage name of Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi, a celebrated Italian castrato singer of the 18th century and one of the greatest singers in the history of opera. Farinelli has been described as having soprano vocal range and sang the highest note customary at the time, C6. Broschi was born in Andria into a family of musicians; as recorded in the baptismal register of the church of S. Nicola in Andria, his father Salvatore was a composer and maestro di cappella of the city's cathedral, his mother, Caterina Barrese, a citizen of Naples; the Duke of Andria, Fabrizio Carafa, a member of the House of Carafa, one of the most prestigious families of the Neapolitan nobility, honored Maestro Broschi by taking a leading part in the baptism of his second son, baptised Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola.. In 1706 Salvatore took up the non-musical post of governor of the town of Maratea, in 1709 that of Terlizzi. Unlike many castrati, who came from poor families, Farinelli was well-to-do, was related to minor nobility on both sides of the family.
From 1707, the Broschi family lived in the coastal city of Barletta, a few miles from Andria, but at the end of 1711, they made the much longer move to the capital city of Naples, where, in 1712 Carlo's elder brother Riccardo was enrolled at the Conservatory of S. Maria di Loreto, specialising in composition. Carlo had shown talent as a boy singer, was now introduced to the most famous singing-teacher in Naples, Nicola Porpora. A successful opera composer, in 1715 Porpora was appointed maestro at the Conservatory of S. Onofrio, where his pupils included such well-known castrati as Giuseppe Appiani, Felice Salimbeni and Gaetano Majorano, as well as distinguished female singers such as Regina Mingotti and Vittoria Tesi. Salvatore Broschi died unexpectedly on 4 November 1717, aged only 36, it seems that the consequent loss of economic security for the whole family provoked the decision taken by Riccardo, for Carlo to be castrated; as was the case, an excuse had to be found for this operation, in Carlo's case it was said to have been necessitated by a fall from a horse.
It is, however possible that he was castrated earlier, since, at the time of his father's death, he was twelve years old, quite an advanced age for castration. Under Porpora's tutelage, his singing progressed and at the age of fifteen, he made his debut a serenata by his master entitled Angelica e Medoro; the text of this work was the first by the soon-to-be-famous Pietro Trapassi, who became a lifelong friend of the singer. Farinelli remarked that the two of them had made their debuts on the same day, each referred to the other as his caro gemello. In this Serenata "Angelica e Medoro", the two leading roles were entrusted to two acclaimed singers: Marianna Benti Bulgarelli, la Romanina and Domenico Gizzi, Musico Soprano in the Royal Chapel of Naples; the derivation of Broschi's stage name is not certain, but it was from two rich Neapolitan lawyers, the brothers Farina, who may have sponsored his studies. Farinelli became famous throughout Italy as il ragazzo. In 1722, he first sang in Rome in Porpora's Flavio Anicio Olibrio, as well as taking the female lead in Sofonisba by Luca Antonio Predieri..
All these appearances were greeted with huge public enthusiasm, an legendary story arose that he had to perform an aria with trumpet obbligato, which evolved into a contest between singer and trumpeter. Farinelli surpassed the trumpet player so much in technique and ornamentation that he "was at last silenced only by the acclamations of the audience"; this account, cannot be verified, since no surviving work which Farinelli is known to have performed contains an aria for soprano with trumpet obbligato. In 1724, Farinelli made his first appearance in Vienna, at the invitation of Pio di Savoia, director of the Imperial Theatre, he spent the following season in Naples. In 1726, he visited Parma and Milan, where Johann Joachim Quantz heard him and commented: "Farinelli had a penetrating, rich and well-modulated soprano voice, with a range at that time from the A below middle C to the D two octaves above middle C.... His intonation was pure, his trill beautiful, his breath control extraordinary and his throat agile, so that he performed the widest intervals and with the greatest ease and certainty.
Passagework and all kinds of melismas were of no difficulty to him. In the invention of free ornamentation in adagio he was fertile." Quantz is accurate in describing Farinelli as a soprano, since arias in his repertoire contained the highest notes customarily employed by that voice during his lifetime: "Fremano l'onde" in Pietro Torri's opera Nicomede and "Troverai se a me ti fidi" in Niccolò Conforto's La Pesca both have sustained C6. His low range extended to F3, as in two of his own cadenzas for "Quell' usignolo innamorato" from Geminiano Giacomelli's Merope. Farinelli sang at Bologna in 1727, where he met the famous castrato Antonio Bernacchi, twenty years his senior. In a duet in Orlandini's Antigona, Farinelli showed off all the beauties of his voice and refinements of his style, executing a n
Ariodante is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. The anonymous Italian libretto was based on a work by Antonio Salvi, which in turn was adapted from Canti 4, 5 and 6 of Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso; each act contains opportunities for dance composed for dancer Marie Sallé and her company. The opera was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 8 January 1735. Ariodante opened Handel's first season at Covent Garden and competed against the rival Opera of the Nobility, supported by the Prince of Wales. Handel had the tacit and financial support of the King and Queen and, more vocally, of the Princess Royal; the opera received 11 performances during its premiere season at Covent Garden. Like Handel's other works in the opera seria genre, despite its initial success, fell into oblivion for nearly two hundred years. An edition of the score was published from the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe. In the 1970s, the work began to be revived, has come to be considered one of Handel's finest operas.
On 29 March 1971, the Handel Society of New York performed the American premiere of the work in a concert version with mezzo-soprano Sophia Steffan in the title role and Judith Raskin as Ginevra. Charles Cudworth has discussed the influence of French dance music in the opera. Winton Dean has noted that act 2 of the opera, in its original version, is the only act in a Handel opera which ends with accompanied recitative; the German-born Handel had brought Italian opera to London stages for the first time in 1711 with his opera Rinaldo. An enormous success, Rinaldo created a craze in London for Italian opera seria, a form focused overwhelmingly on solo arias for the star virtuoso singers. Handel had presented new operas in London for years with great success. One of the major attractions in Handel's operas was the star castrato Senesino whose relationship with the composer was stormy and who left Handel's company to appear with the rival Opera of the Nobility, set up in 1733. Handel moved to another theatre, Covent Garden, engaged different singers.
The new theatre at Covent Garden, run by impresario John Rich, added the attraction of a troupe of dancers led by the celebrated Marie Sallé, so Handel's two new operas for 1735, "Ariodante" and "Alcina" both include dance sequences, for the first time in Handel opera for London. The singers for whom Handel wrote "Ariodante" included a young soprano, Cecilia Young, whom he had not worked with before, considered by contemporary musicologist Charles Burney to be the finest English soprano of the day, the virtouso castrato Carestini, whose astonishing technique and huge vocal range Handel made full use of in the scena "E vivo ancora? E senza il ferro? oh Dei!... Scherza infida in grembo al drudo" and in the jubilant and bravura "Dopo notte, atra e funesta". Medieval Scotland. Ginevra, daughter of the King, is betrothed to Prince Ariodante, she rejects the amorous advances of the Duke of Albany, who cruelly tricks Ariodante and Ginevra's father into believing that Ginevra has been unfaithful. Ariodante attempts suicide and Ginevra is condemned, but after a challenge to a duel by Lurcanio, Ariodante's brother, the dying Polinesso admits his plot and the lovers are reunited.
The royal cabinet, in the palace Princess Ginevra, in front of her mirror, is adorning herself to make herself beautiful for her beloved.. Polinesso, Duke of Albany, bursts into the room and, thinking that having the king's daughter as his sweetheart would advance his prospects, declares his love for her. Ginevra indignantly leaves. Dalinda, secretly in love with Polinesso, advises him that his rival is Prince Ariodante but advises him that all he has to do is open his eyes to see someone else who loves him. Left alone, Polinesso can see that Dalinda is in love with him and plans to use her to thwart his rival and win Ginevra for himself; the royal gardens Ariodante sings of. Ginevra joins him and they pledge their love; the King joins the lovers, gives them his blessing, orders his courtier Odoardo to make the preparations for the wedding. Alone, Ariodante swears to be faithful to Ginevra. Polinesso hatches his plot – he tells Dalinda that if she will dress as Ginevra that evening and invite him into her apartments, he will be hers.
Lurcanio, Ariodante's brother appears to Dalinda and declares his love for her but she has lost her heart to Polinesso. A delightful valley Ariodante and Ginevra enjoy each other's company, they are joined by shepherdesses who dance to entertain them. By ancient ruins, within sight of Ginevra's apartments. Ariodante refuses to believe it; this is all being observed by Lurcanio, hidden. Polinesso tells Ariodante to watch as "Ginevra" Dalinda wearing Ginevra's clothes, admits Polinesso into her bedroom for the night. Ariodante is in despair and wants to die but Lurcanio comes from the shadows and advises Ariodante to live, seek revenge. Ariodante sadly bewails his beloved's infidelity; as day breaks and Dalinda emerge from the palace. Polinesso promises he w
Handel's lost Hamburg operas
In 1703, the 18-year-old composer George Frideric Handel took up residence in Hamburg, where he remained until 1706. During this period he composed four operas, only the first of which, has survived more or less intact. Of the other three, the music for Nero is lost, while only short orchestral excerpts from Florindo and Daphne survive. Handel was born and grew up in Halle, where he received his early musical education and became an accomplished organist. In Hamburg he obtained employment as a violinist at the Oper am Gänsemarkt, the city's famous opera house. Here, he learned the rudiments of opera composition under the influences of Reinhard Keiser, the theatre's music director, Johann Mattheson, its leading vocalist; the Gänsemarkt was dedicated to Keiser's compositions. Almira was successful, Nero less so and was never performed after its initial run of three performances. Handel's final Hamburg operas and Daphne, based on librettos by Heinrich Hinsch and conceived as a giant single entity, were not produced at the Gänsemarkt before Handel left Hamburg for Italy in 1706.
No music that can be definitively traced to Nero has been identified, although Handel scholars have speculated that some of it may have been used in works Agrippina which has a related storyline and some of the same characters. Fragments of music from Florindo and Daphne have been preserved, although without the vocal parts, some of these elements have been incorporated into an orchestral suite first recorded in 2012. George Frideric Handel was born on 23 February 1685 in the German city of Halle, it is unclear what initial musical education. By the age of ten Handel had become an accomplished organist; as a result, Handel began formal study under Friedrich Zachow, the organist of the Lutheran church at Halle. Handel's biographer Jonathan Keates writes that: "From Handel learned not only a great deal about the line and shape of an aria, about strong, adventurous bass lines and solid choral writing, but about those delicacies of instrumental colouring which he perfected in his own style". Handel's musical development benefited from an early and lasting friendship with Georg Philipp Telemann, whom he met in 1700.
In February 1702 Handel enrolled at the University of Halle intending to study law. In March he took up the post of organist at Halle's Calvinist cathedral, a prestigious appointment for one so young and indicative of his burgeoning musical reputation in the city. At some time in late 1702 or early 1703, Handel visited Berlin, where his father had held an honorary post as physician to the elector who, in 1701, had become the Prussian king Frederick I. In Berlin Handel first experienced Italian opera, may have met the Italian composers Giovanni Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti, who were writing operas for Frederick's court; the king heard of Handel's abilities, wanted him to train as a future court composer, but Handel's horizons had been broadened by his sojourn in Berlin and he was developing his own ideas for his future. He declined the king's offer, returned to Halle to fulfil his year's contract at the Domkirche. With few career prospects available in his home city, Handel would have liked to go to Italy, but this, he realised, was not yet practicable, since he lacked both cash and contacts.
Instead in mid-1703 he left Halle for Hamburg, a thriving free city which housed the leading opera house in northern Germany. The Hamburg Opera, known as the Oper am Gänsemarkt, was the first public opera house to be established outside Italy; the brainchild of the exiled Duke of Schleswig-Gottorf and his Kapellmeister, Johann Theile, it was designed by Girolamo Sartorio, modelled on the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice. Its construction was opposed by the clergy and cathedral hierarchy, but enthusiastically supported by the city's municipal authorities. Built in 1677 on a lavish scale, with a reported capacity of 2,000, it boasted an exceptionally deep stage and was, according to Handel scholars Winton Dean and John Merrill Knapp, one of the best-equipped theatres of its time. Dean and Knapp write that the theatre's history was "enlivened and envenomed by a maelstrom of controversy, pursued in pamphlets, broadsheets and prefaces to librettos... and by financial crises which persisted on and off throughout the sixty years of its existence".
A preponderance of biblically inspired works in the earliest years was soon replaced by a range of more secular subjects drawn from Roman history and myth, or from recent events such as the 1683 siege of Vienna. Performances tended to be of considerable length extending to six hours; the 18-year-old Handel entered this hectic environment in mid-1703, to take up a place in the theatre's orchestra as a ripieno second violin. Handel joined the Hamburg opera house when it was experiencing a period of considerable artistic success; this blossoming followed the arrival of Reinhard Keiser, who had become musical director at the Gänsemarkt in about 1697, in 1703 succeeded Johann Kusser as the theatre's manager. Born in 1674, Keiser had studied under Johann Schelle and Johann Kuhnau at the Thomasschule zu Leipzig. In 1694 he was employed as a court composer at Brun