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Rinaldo

Georg Friedrich Händel 1685–1759

Dramma per musica in three acts
Libretto by Giacomo Rossi, scenario Aaron Hill
World premiere, 1st edition, February 24 1711, Queen's Theatre, Haymarket, London
1st performance of this production September 16 2017

Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Introductory talk, in German, in the Bockenheimer Depot half an hour before performances begin

Magical creatures waft across the stage like smoke. Brave warriors search for firm ground under their feet. Rinaldo's footsteps into battle are hesitant, love holds him back and makes him doubt his task. He resists temptations in a magical realm and drives the Amazon Armida to distraction. George Frideric Handel's opera knew how to tell adventures, describe love's confusions, sing of deepest sadness and sweetest rapture. Arias like »Lascia ch'io pianga«, »Cara sposa« and »Ah, crudel« are some of the most gripping portraits of emotions this composer wrote, embedded in richly coloured intrumentation and richly constrasting dramaturgy. The original score called for live birds, flying chariots, fire breathing dragons and roaring waterfalls, promising baroque spectacle par excellence. Ted Huffmann's enormously successful production brought this magical story to life with thought-through direction and very few theatrical means, »conjuring up« a world from almost nothing. The singers and dancers create the architecture with their bodies on an empty, raked stage. The choreographer Adam Weinert integrated elements of baroque dance with contemporary movements, making the emotional power of Handel's music physically tangible.