handel’s operas

Handel’s Operas

Almira - 1705

Nero - 1705

Florindo - ?1706

Daphne – ?1706

Rodrigo - 1707

Agrippina – 1709

Rinaldo - 1711, 1731

Il pastor fido - 1712, 1734

Teseo - 1712

Silla – ?1713

Amadigi di Gaula – 1715

Radamisto – 1720

Muzio Scevola – 1721

Floridante – 1721

Ottone, re di Germania – 1722

Flavio, re de’ Langobardi – 1723

Giulio Cesare in Egitto – 1724

Tamerlano – 1724

Rodelinda, regina de’ Langobardi – 1725

Scipione – 1726

Alessandro – 1726

Admeto, re di Tessaglia – 1726

Riccardo Primo, re d’Inghilterra – 1727

Siroe, re di Persia – 1728

Tolomeo, re d’Egitto – 1728

Lotario – 1729

Partenope – 1730

Poro, re dell’Indie – 1731

Ezio – 1732

Sosarme, re di Media – 1732

Orlando – 1732

Arianna in Creta – 1733

Ariodante – 1734

Alcina – 1735

Atalanta – 1736

Arminio – 1736

Giustino – 1736

Berenice, regina d’Egitto – 1736-’37

Faramondo – 1737

Serse – 1737-’38

Imeneo – 1738, completed 1740

Deidamia – 1740

HWV 1: Almira

Libretto: By Friedrich Christian Feustking, after Giulio Pancieri (1691).

Completed score: 1705

First performance: 8 January 1705, Hamburg, Theater am Gänsemarkt. (Ran for 20 nights.)

Roles:

Almira, Queen of Castilia (soprano)

Edilia, a Princess (soprano)

Consalvo, Almira’s guardian (bass)

Osman, his son (tenor)

Fernando, an orphan (tenor)

Raymondo, King of Mauretania (bass)

Bellante, Princess of Aranda (soprano)

Tabarco (tenor)

Notes: Handel’s first opera.

HG edition: 55; HHA edition: II/1


HWV 2: Nero

Libretto: By Friedrich Christian Feustking.

Completed score: 1705

First performance: 25 February 1705, Hamburg, Theater am Gänsemarkt. (Only 3 performances.)

Notes: Music lost.

HWV 3: Florindo

Libretto: Hinrich Hinsch

Completed score: ?1706

First performance: January 1708, Hamburg, Theater am Gänsemarkt.

Notes: Originally composed as a single opera (“Florindo und Daphne”) combined with “Daphne” (HWV 4) but divided before performances

Music mainly lost.

HHA edition: IV/19 (fragment)

HWV 4: Daphne

Libretto: By Hinrich Hinsch.

Composed: ?1706

First performance: January 1708, Hamburg, Theater am Gänsemarkt.

Notes: Originally composed as single opera (“Florindo und Daphne”) combined with “Florindo” (HWV 3) but divided before performances

Music mainly lost.

HHA edition: IV/19 (fragment)

HWV 5: Rodrigo

Libretto: After Francesco Silvani, 1700

Completed score: 1707

First performance: Autumn 1707, Teatro Civico Accademico in the Via del Cocomero, Florence

Original cast from first performance:

Rodrigo, King of Spain: Stefano Frilli (soprano-castrato)

Esilena, his wife: Anna Maria Cecchi Torri, called “La Beccarina” (soprano)

Giuliano, count of Ceuta: Francesco Guicciardi (tenor)

Florinda, sister of Giuliano: Aurelia Marcello (soprano)

Evanco, King of Aragon: Caterina Azzolini, called “La Valentina” (soprano)

Fernando, minister of Rodrigo: Giuseppe Perini (alto-castrato)

HG edition: 56; HHA edition: II/2


HWV 6: Agrippina

Libretto: Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani, owner of the S. Giovanni Grisostomo theatre.

Completed score: 1709

First performance: ?26 December 1709 or ?during Carnival 1710, Venice, Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo. (27 successive nights of performances)

Original cast from first performance:

Agrippina, the Emperor’s wife: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Claudio, Roman Emperor: Antonio Francesco Carli (bass)

Poppea, a courtesan: Diamante Maria Scarabelli (soprano)

Ottone, commander of the army: Francesca Maria Vanini-Boschi (contralto)

Nerone, son of Agrippina by previous marriage: Valeriano Pellegrini (soprano-castrato)

Pallante, follower and lover of Agrippina: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Narciso, follower and lover of Agrippina: Giuliano Albertini (alto-castrato)

Lesbo, servant of Claudio: Nicola Pasini (bass)

Giunone: ? (contralto)

Borrowings: Handel borrowed an aria from Johann Mattheson’s “Porsenna” (1702).

HG edition: 57; HHA edition: II/3


HWV 7a: Rinaldo; “first version”

Libretto: Giacomo Rossi/Aaron Hill, from T. Tasso, “La Gerusalemme liberata.”

Completed score: 1711

First performance: 24 February 1711, London, Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket. (15 performances to 2 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Goffredo, Captain General of the Christian army: Francesca Vanini-Boschi (contralto)

Almirena, his daughter, betrothed to Rinaldo: Isabella Girardeau (soprano)

Rinaldo, a Christian hero: Nicolo Grimaldi, called “Nicolini” (alto-castrato)

Eustazio, Goffredo’s brother: Valentino Urbani, called “Valentini” (alto-castrato)

Argante, Saracen King of Jerusalem, lover of Armida: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Armida, a sorceress, Queen of Damascus: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Mago (Christian magician): Giuseppe Cassani (alto-castrato)

Aroldo (Herald): Mr. Lawrence (tenor)

Revival: 23 January 1712: London, Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket (9 performances to 1 April)

Cast from 1712 revival:

Goffredo: Margherita de L’Epine (soprano)

Almirena: Signora Manina (soprano)

Rinaldo: Nicolo Grimaldi, called “Nicolini” (alto-castrato)

Eustazio: Jane Barbier (contralto)

Argante: Salomon Bendler (bass)

Armida: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Mago (Christian magician): ?

Aroldo (Herald): ?

6 May 1713: London, Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket (also 9 May)

Cast from 1713 revival:

Goffredo: Margherita de L’Epine (soprano)

Almirena: Signora Manina (soprano)

Rinaldo: Jane Barbier (contralto)

Eustazio: Valentino Urbani, called “Valentini” (alto-castrato)

Argante: Richard Leveridge (bass)

Armida: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Mago (Christian magician): ?

Aroldo (Herald): ?

30 December 1714: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (10 performances to 19 February; also 25 June)

Cast from 1714 revival:

Goffredo: Caterina Galerati (soprano)

Almirena: Anastasia Robinson (soprano)

Rinaldo: Jane Barbier (contralto)

Eustazio: role probably cut

Argante: Angelo Zannoni (bass)

Armida: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Mago (Christian magician): ?

Aroldo (Herald): ?

5 January 1717: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (7 performances to 9 March; also 2 May, 18 May, and 5 June).

Cast from 1717 revival:

Goffredo: Antonio Maria Bernacchi (alto-castrato)

Almirena: Anastasia Robinson (soprano)

Rinaldo: Nicolo Grimaldi, called “Nicolini” (alto-castrato)

Eustazio: role cut

Argante: Gaetano Berenstadt (alto-castrato)

Armida: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Mago (Christian magician): ?

Aroldo (Herald): ?

1731: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (See HWV 7b below.)

Notes: Handel’s first opera specially composed for London.

It had more performances in London (53) than any of GFH’s other operas during his lifetime.

HG edition: 58; HHA edition: II/4

HWV 7b: Rinaldo; “second verson”

Completed score: 1731

First performance: 6 April 1731: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (6 performances to 1 May)

Cast from 1731 revival:

Goffredo: Annibale Pio Fabri, called “Balino” (tenor)

Almirena: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Rinaldo: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Eustazio: role cut

Argante: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Armida: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Mago (Christian magician): Giovanni Giuseppe Commano (bass)

Aroldo (Herald): ? (bass)

Notes: Revival contained new accompanied recitative, 2 new symphonies and 6 arias borrowed from other operas.

HWV 8a: Il pastor fido

Libretto: By Giacomo Rossi, after Giovan Battista Guarini, 1585.

Completed score: 24 October 1712

First performance: 22 November 1712, London, Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket. (6 performances to 27 December; also 21 February 1713.)

Original cast from first performance:

Mirtillo, a shepherd: Valeriano Pellegrini, called “Valeriano” (soprano-castrato)

Amarilli, a shepherdess, in love with Mirtillo: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Eurilla, in devious pursuit of Mirtillo: Francesca Margherita de l’Épine, called “La Margherita” (soprano)

Silvio, a huntsman: Valentino Urbani, called “Valentini” (alto-castrato)

Dorinda, in love with Silvio: Jane Barbier (contralto)

Tirenio: Richard Leveridge (bass)

Revival: See HWV 8c below.

Borrowings: The Allegro from the overture to Il pastor fido was rewritten and used as the last movement in the Concerto Grosso Op 3 No 6 (HWV 317) and in the Organ Concerto Op 7 No 4 (HWV 309).

HG edition: 59, 84; HHA edition: II/5, 31

HWV 8b: The ballet, Terpsicore (the prologue to Il pastor fido)

Dances

Completed score: 1734

First performance: 9 November 1734: London, Covent Garden Theatre

HG edition: 84; HHA edition: II/31

HWV 8c: Il pastor fido (revised version)

Revival:

18 May 1734: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket. Contained 2 new arias and borrowed items. (13 performances to 6 July, the end of the opera season)

Cast from 18 May 1734 revival:

Mirtillo: Giovanni Carestini, called “Cusanino” (mezzo-soprano castrato)

Amarilli: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Eurilla: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Silvio: Carlo Scalzi (soprano-castrato)

Dorinda: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Tirenio: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

9 November 1734: London, Covent Garden Theatre; Performed with dances and preceded by the ballet, Terpsicore (HWV 8b) (5 performances to 23 November)

Cast from 9 November 1734 revival:

Mirtillo: Giovanni Carestini, called “Cusanino” (mezzo-soprano castrato)

Amarilli: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Eurilla: Maria Rosa Negri (contralto)

Silvio: John Beard (tenor)

Dorinda: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Tirenio: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

Notes: Dances by Marie Sallé

Performed with “Il pastor fido” at the Covent Garden Theatre London

18 May 1734 revival contained items from Parnasso in festa (HWV 73).

HWV 9: Teseo

Libretto: 5 acts; by Nicola Francesco Haym, after Philippe Quinault (1675)

Completed score: 19 December 1712

First performance: 10 January 1713: London, Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket (10 performances to 17 February; also 17 March, 18 April, and 16 May)

Original cast from first performance:

Teseo, son of Egeo, in love with Agilea, in disguise: Valeriano Pellegrini, called “Valeriano” (soprano-castrato)

Agilea, in love with Teseo: Francesca Margherita de l’Épine, called “La Margherita” (soprano)

Medea, a sorceress, also in love with Teseo: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Egeo, King of Athens, intends to marry Agilea: Valentino Urbani, called “Valentini” (alto-castrato)

Clizia: Maria Gallia (soprano)

Arcane: Jane Barbier (contralto)

Priest of Minerva: Richard Leveridge (bass)

Notes: On the 2nd performance night, the theater manager, Owen Swiney, fled to Italy with the box office receipts. “Mr Swiny Brakes & runs away, & leaves ye Singers unpaid ye Scenes & Habits also unpaid for. The Singers were in Some confusion but at last concluded to go on with ye operas on their own accounts, & divide ye Gain amongst them.” Swiney was promptly replaced by the Swiss, John Jacob Heidegger.

HG edition: 60; HHA edition: II/6

HWV 10: Silla

Libretto: Giacomo Rossi, from Plutarch (who refers to him as “Sulla”)

Completed score: Probably April–May 1713

First performance: ?2 June 1713: ?London, Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket or Burlington House. Possibly not performed.

Borrowings: Much of the music composed for Silla reappears in Amadigi di Gaula (HWV 11).

Cast:

Silla, Roman Dictator: Valentino Urbani, called “Valentini” (alto-castrato)

Metella, his wife: ? (soprano)

Claudio, a dissident: ? (alto)

Celia, in love with Claudio: ? (soprano)

Lepido: confidant to Silla ? (soprano)

Flavia, Lepido’s wife: ? (soprano)

Il Dio: ? (bass)

Notes: The libretto was dedicated to the Duke D’Aumont, appointed in 1712 as French Ambassador to Queen Anne’s court.

HG edition: 61; HHA edition: II/7

HWV 11: Amadigi di Gaula

Libretto: ?By Nicola Haym (or Giacomo Rossi), after Antoine Houdar de la Motte, 1699

Completed score: 1715

First performance: 25 May 1715: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (6 performances to 15 July)

Original cast from first performance:

Amadigi, in love with Oriana: Nicolo Grimaldi, called “Nicolini” (alto-castrato)

Oriana, a princess: Anastasia Robinson (soprano)

Melissa, a sorceress, in love with Amadigi: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Dardano, Prince of Thrace, also in love with Oriana: Diana Vico (contralto)

Orgando, uncle of Oriana: (?) Caterina Galerati (soprano)

Revival: 16 February 1716: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 6 March; also 20 June and 12 July)

Cast from 16 February 1716 revival: Same as 25 May 1725 original cast.

16 February 1717: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (also 21 March, 11 April, 30 May)

Cast from 16 February 1717 revival:

Amadigi: Nicolo Grimaldi called “Nicolini” (alto-castrato)

Oriana: Anastasia Robinson (soprano)

Melissa: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, called “Pilotti” (soprano)

Dardano: Antonio Maria Bernacchi (alto-castrato)

Orgando: (?) Caterina Galerati (soprano)

Notes: Dedicated to the Earl of Burlington.

21 March 1717 revival includes “a New Scene” for Nicolini and Anastasia Robinson.

HG edition: 62; HHA edition: II/8

HWV 12a: Radamisto; “first version”

Libretto: ?By Nicola Haym or Matteo Noris, after Domenico Lalli (1710/12)

Completed score: 1720

First performance: 27 April 1720: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (8 performances to 21 May; also 8, 22 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Radamisto, son of Farasmane: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Zenobia, his wife: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Farasmane, King of Thrace: Signor Lagarde (bass)

Tiridate, King of Armenia: Alexander Gordon (tenor)

Polissena, his wife, daughter of Farasmane: Ann Turner Robinson (soprano)

Tigrane, Prince of Pontus: Caterina Galerati (soprano)

Fraarte, brother of Tiridate: Benedetto Baldassari (soprano-castrato)

Revival: 28 December 1720: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (See HWV 12b below.)

Notes: First opera composed by Handel for the “Royal Academy of Music.”

HG edition: 63; HHA edition: II/9

HWV 12b: Radamisto; “second version”

Genre: Opera

Libretto: ?By Nicola Haym or Matteo Noris, after Domenico Lalli (1710/12)

Completed score: 1720

First performance: 28 & 31 December 1720: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (5 performances from 4 January to 25 March, 1721)

Cast from 28 December 1720 performance:

Radamisto: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Zenobia: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Farasmane: Signor Lagarde (bass)

Tiridate: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Polissena: Maddalena Salvai (soprano)

Tigrane: Matteo Berselli (soprano-castrato)

Fraarte: Caterina Galerati (soprano)

Revival: 25 November 1721: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 6 December)

Cast from 1721 revival:

Radamisto: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Zenobia: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Farasmane: Signor Lagarde (bass)

Tiridate: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Polissena: Maddalena Salvai (soprano)

Tigrane: Benedetto Baldassari (soprano-castrato)

Fraarte: cut

January 1728: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (approximately 7 performances)

Cast from 1728 revival:

Radamisto: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Zenobia: Faustina Borodini (soprano)

Farasmane: Giovanni Battista Palmerini (bass)

Tiridate: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Polissena: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Tigrane: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Fraarte: cut

Notes:  The 28 December 1720 revival differed from the April 1720 premiere by Handel’s eliminating Fraarte’s love for Zenobia, removing some music, composing 10 new arias, a duet, and quartet.

HWV 13: Muzio Scevola – Act 3

Libretto: Paolo Antonio Rolli

Completed score: 23 March 1721

First performance: 15 April 1721: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket

Original cast from first performance:

Muzio Scevola, in love with Clelia: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Clelia, in love with Porsenna: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Orazio: Matteo Berselli (soprano-castrato)

Fidalma: Maddalena Salvai (soprano)

Lucio Tarquinio: Caterina Galerati (soprano)

Irene: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Larte Porsenna, ruler of rome, in love with Clelia: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Revival: 27 October 1722: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (5 performances to 13 November).

Cast from 1722 revival:

Muzio Scevola: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Clelia: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Orazio: ? {possibly reduced to recitative)

Fidalma: cut

Lucio Tarquinio: ? (bass) — possibly Signor Lagarde

Irene: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Larte Porsenna: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Borrowings: Handel used an aria from Johann Mattheson’s “Porsenna” (1702) in Act 3 of “Muzio Scevola.”

Notes: Act 1 composed by Filippo Amadei; Act 2 composed by Giovanni Bononcini

HG edition: 64;

HHA edition: II/10

HWV 14: Floridante

Libretto: By Paolo Antonio Rolli, after Francesco Silvani, 1706

Completed score: 28 November 1721

First performance: 9 December 1721: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (6 more performances to 30 December; also 8 further preformances from 3 January to 26 May, 1722)

Original cast from first performance:

Floridante, Prince of Thrace, commander under Oronte: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Oronte, King of Persia: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Timante, Prince of Tyre: Benedetto Baldassari, called “Benedetti” (soprano-castrato)

Rossane, Oronte’s daughter: Maddalena Salvai (soprano)

Elmira, daughter of the murdered King Nino, adopted by Oronte: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Coralbo, Persian satrap: ? (bass)

Revival: 4 December 1722: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (7 performances to 26 December)

Cast from 4 December 1722 revival:

Floridante: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Oronte: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Timante: Gaetano Berenstadt (alto-castrato)

Rossane: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Elmira: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Coralbo: ? (bass)

29 April 1727: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (also 2 May)

Cast from 29 April 1727 revival:

Floridante: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Oronte: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Timante: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Rossane: Faustina Borodini (soprano)

Elmira: Anna Dotti (contralto)

Coralbo: Giovanni Battista Palmerini (bass)

3 March 1733: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 13 March; resumed 8 May for 3 additional performances to 19 May)

Cast from 1733 revival (NOTE: The 1733 libretto did not include the cast names) :

Floridante: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Oronte: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

Timante: ?

Rossane: ?

Elmira: ?

Coralbo: ?

Borrowings: 4 December 1722 revival contained 3 new arias borrowed from “Crudel tiranno amor” (HWV 97).

Notes: 4 December 1722 revival contained 5 new arias.

HG edition: 65; HHA edition: II/11

HWV 15: Ottone, re di Germania

Libretto: Nicola Francesco Haym, after Steffano Bendetto Pallavicino

Completed score: 10 August 1722

First performance: 12 January 1723: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (11 performances to 16 February; also 26 March, and 4, 8 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Ottone, King of Germany: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Teofane, Princess of the Eastern Roman Empire: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Emireno: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Gismonda, widow of the usurper Berengario: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Adelberto, her son: Gaetano Berenstadt (alto-castrato)

Matilda, cousin of Ottone, betrothed to Adelberto: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Revival: 11 December 1723: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (6 performances to 1 January 1724)

Cast from 1723 revival: Probably the same as the original cast.

8 February 1726: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (9 performaces to 8 March)

Cast from 1726 revival:

Ottone: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Teofane: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Emireno: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Gismonda: Anna Dotti (contralto)

Adelberto: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Matilda: Livia Constantini (soprano)

11 April 1727: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (also 13 April)

13 November 1733: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 24 November)

Cast from 1733 revival:

Ottone: Giovanni Carestini, called “Cusanino” (alto-castrato)

Teofane: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Emireno: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

Gismonda: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Adelberto: Carlo Scalzi (soprano-castrato)

Matilda: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

10 December 1734: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (5 performances to 23 December)

Cast from 1734 revival:

Ottone: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Teofane: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Emireno: Alessandro Montagnana (bass)

Gismonda: Maria Segatti (soprano)

Adelberto: Carlo Broschi, called “Farinelli” (soprano-castrato)

Matilda: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Notes: 26 March 1723 performance (performed for Cuzzoni’s benefit) included 4 new arias.

8 February 1726 revival contained 5 new arias.

10 December 1734 revival performed at the King’s Theatre by the “Opera of the Nobility” with Farinelli in the role of Adelberto — this represents the only Handel opera produced by the “Opera of the Nobility.” Farinelli sang seven arias; however, not one belonged to the part — 5 of the arias came from other Handel operas (i.e., Riccardo Primo, Lotario, and Partenope).

HG edition: 66; HHA edition: II/12

HWV 16: Flavio, re de’ Langobardi

Libretto: By Nicola Francesco Haym after Matteo Noris, 1682, and ?Stampiglia, 1696.

Completed score: 7 May 1723

First performance: 14 May 1723: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket. (Duration: 156′) (8 performances to 15 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Flavio, ruler of Lombardy and England: Gaetano Berenstadt (alto-castrato)

Guido, son of Ugone, betrothed to Emilia: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Emilia, Lotario’s daughter: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Vitige, King’s adjutant, Teodata’s secret lover: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Teodata, Ugone’s daughter: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Lotario, Flavio’s counselor: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Ugone, Flavio’s counselor: Alexander Gordon (tenor)

Revival: 18 April 1732: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 29 April)

Cast from 1732 revival:

Flavio: Antonio Gualandi, called “Campioli” (alto-castrato)

Guido: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Emilia: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Vitige: Anna Bagnolesi (contralto)

Teodata: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Lotario: Giovanni Battista Pinacci (tenor)

Ugone: Alessandro Montagnana (bass)

HG edition: 67; HHA edition: II/13

HWV 17: Giulio Cesare in Egitto

Libretto: By Nicola Francesco Haym, after Giacamo Francesco Bussani, 1677/85

Completed score: 1724

First performance: 20 February 1724: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (13 performances to 11 April)

Original cast from first performance:

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Sesto, son of Pompey: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Giulio Cesare: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Tolomeo, Cleopatra’s brother, King of Egypt: Gaetano Berenstadt (alto-castrato)

Nireno, confidant of Cleopatra and Tolomeo: Signor Bigonzi (alto-castrato)

Cornelia, widow of Pompey: Anastasia Robinson (contralto)

Achilla, a general, Tolomeo’s counsellor: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (baritone)

Curio, a Roman tribune: Mr. Lagarde (bass)

Revival: 2 January 1725: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (10 performances to 9 February) — included 4 new arias.

Cast from 1725 revival:

Cleopatra: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Sesto: Francesco Borosini (tenor)

Giulio Cesare: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Tolomeo: Andrea Pacini (alto-castrato)

Cornelia: Anna Dotti (contralto)

Achilla: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (baritone)

17 January 1730: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (9 performances to 21 February; also 21, 31 March) — included 2 new arias for Strada.

Cast from 1730 revival:

Cleopatra: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Sesto: Annibale Pio Fabri, called “Balino” (tenor)

Giulio Cesare: Antonio Maria Bernacchi (alto-castrato)

Tolomeo: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Cornelia: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Achilla: Johann Gottfried Riemschneider (bass)

1 February 1732: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 12 February)

Cast from 1732 revival:

Cleopatra: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Sesto: Giovanni Battista Pinacci (tenor)

Giulio Cesare: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Tolomeo: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Cornelia: Anna Bagnolesi (contralto)

Achilla: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

Notes: Revived for a total of 38 performances.

It received a like number of performances at Hamburg between 1725 and 1737 and others in Paris and Brunswick.

Oskar Hagen revived it in 1922 at Göttingen.

HG edition: 68; HHA edition: II/14

HWV 18: Tamerlano

Libretto: By Nicola Haym, after C. Agostino Piovene, 1711/19, from J.N. Pardon

Composed: 3-23 July 1724

First performance: 31 October 1724: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (9 performances to 28 November)

Original cast from first performance:

Tamerlano, Emperor of the Tartars: Andrea Pacini (alto-castrato)

Bajazet, Emperor of the Turks: Francesco Borosini (tenor)

Asteria, his daughter: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Andronico, a Greek prince: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Irene, Princess of Trebizond, betrothed to Tamerlano: Anna Dotti (contralto)

Leone, friend of Tamerlano and Andronico: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Revival: 1 May 1725: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (3 performances to 8 May)

13 November: 1731: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (3 performances to 20 November)

Cast from 1731 revival:

Tamerlano: Antonio Gualandi, called “Campioli” (alto-castrato)

Bajazet: Giovanni Battista Pinacci (tenor)

Asteria: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Andronico: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Irene: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Leone: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

Notes: Score substantially revised between 24 July 1724 completion date and first performance.

13 November 1731 revival included new aria for Montagnana.

HG edition: 69; HHA edition: II/15

HWV 19: Rodelinda, regina de’ Langobardi

Libretto: By Nicola Haym, after Antonio Salvi, 1710, from Pierre Corneille’s “Pertharite, roi des Lombards” (1652)

Completed score: 20 January 1725

First performance: 13 February 1725: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (14 performances to 6 April)

Original cast from first performance:

Rodelinda, Queen of the Lombards: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Bertarido, her husband: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Grimoaldo, Duke of Benevento, a usurper: Francesco Borosini (tenor)

Eduige, sister of Bertarido, betrothed to Grimoaldo: Anna Vicenza Dotti (contralto)

Unulfo, a nobleman: Andrea Pacini (alto-castrato)

Garibaldo, Duke of Turin: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Revival: 18 December 1725: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (8 performances to 11 January 1726)

Cast from 1725 revival:

Rodelinda: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Bertarido: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Grimoaldo: Luigi Antinori (tenor)

Eduige: Anna Dotti (alto)

Unulfo: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Garibaldo: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

4 May 1731: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (8 performances to 29 May)

Cast from 1731 revival:

Rodelinda: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Bertarido: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Grimoaldo: Annibale Pio Fabri, called “Balino” (tenor)

Eduige: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Unulfo: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Garibaldo: Giovanni Giuseppe Commano (bass)

Borrowings: 4 May 1731 revival contained 4 items from other operas.

Notes: 18 December 1725 revival included 4 new arias and new duet.

HG edition: 70; HHA edition: II/16

HWV 20: Scipione

Libretto: By Paolo Antonio Rolli, after Antonio Salvi, 1704

Completed score: 2 March 1726

First performance: 12 March 1726: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (13 performances to 30 April)

Original cast from first performance:

Scipio, a Roman general: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Lucejo, Berenice’s lover: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Berenice, daughter of King Ernando: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Lelio, a Roman commander: Luigi Antinori (tenor)

Ernando, King of the Balearics: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Armira, captive of the Romans: Livia Costantini, called “La Polacchina” (soprano)

Revival: 3 November 1730: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (6 performances to 21 November)

Cast from 1730 revival:

Scipio: Annibale Pio Fabri, called “Balino” (tenor)

Lucejo: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Berenice: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Lelio: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Ernando: Giovanni Giuseppe Commano (bass)

Armira: Antonia Maria Merighi (soprano)

Borrowings: 3 November 1730 revival included 12 additions from other operas.

Notes: 3 November 1730 revival included 2 new arias for Fabri.

HG edition: 71; HHA edition: II/17

HWV 21: Alessandro

Libretto: By Paolo Antonio Rolli, after Ortensio Mauro, 1690

Completed score: 11 April 1726

First performance: 5 May 1726: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (13 performances to 7 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Alessandro Magno: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Rossane: Faustina Bordoni (soprano)

Lisaura: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Tassile, King of India: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Clito, a Macedonia captain: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Leonato, a Macedonian captain: Luigi Antinori (tenor)

Cleone, a Macedonian captain: Anna Dotti (contralto)

Revival:

30 December 1727: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (at least 4 performances)

Cast from 1727 revival:

Alessandro: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Rossane: Faustina Bordoni (soprano)

Lisaura: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Tassile: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Clito: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Leonato: cut ?

Cleone: cut ?

25 November 1732: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (6 performances to 30 December)

Cast from 1732 revival:

Alessandro: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Rossane: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Lisaura: Celeste Giamondi (soprano)

Tassile: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Clito: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

Leonato: cut

Cleone: cut

Notes: The “Middlesex” opera company (named after Lord Middlesex) presented “Rossane” — arranged by Lampugnani from Alessandro (HWV 21).

HG edition: 72; HHA edition: II/18

HWV 22: Admeto, re di Tessaglia

Libretto: By ?, After Aurelio Aureli, 1660, and Ortensio Mauro, 1679

Completed score: 10 November 1726

First performance: 31 January 1727: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (19 performances to 18 April)

Original cast from first performance:

Admeto, King of Thessaly: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Alceste, his wife: Faustina Bordoni (soprano)

Antigona, a Trojan princess: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Ercole, oracle of Apollo: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Orindo, a courtier: Anna Dotti (contralto)

Trasimede, brother of Admeto: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Meraspe, Antigona’s governor: Giovanni Battista Palmerini (bass)

Revival: 30 September 1727: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (5 performances to 17 October; also 4 November)

25 May 1728: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket — contains new aria for Mrs. Wright as Orinda [sex of role changed–premiere had Orindo]. (3 performances to 1 June)

7 December 1731: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket — includes 3 new arias. The role of Orindo/Orinda was cut in the 1731 revival. (6 performances to 11 January 1732)

Cast from 1731 revival:

Admeto: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Alceste: Anna Bagnolesi (contralto)

Antigona: Anna Strada del Pò (soprano)

Ercole: Giovanni Battista Pinacci (tenor)

Trasimede: Antonio Gualandi called Campioli (alto-castrato)

Meraspe: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

12 March, 1754: (altered version) London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket — the role of Orindo/Orinda remained cut. (Further performances: 16, 19, 23 March, 6 April)

Cast from 1754 revival:

Admeto: Signor Serafini (alto-castrato)

Alceste: Caterina Visconti (soprano)

Antigona: Giulia Frasi (soprano)

Ercole: Ottavio Albuzio

Trasimede: Christina Passerini (soprano)

Meraspe: Signor Ranieri (bass)

Notes: Autograph lost.

A libretto for the 1754 production published by G. Woodfall survives in the National Library of Scotland in Edinborough.

7 March 1727 performance (for Faustina’s benefit) includes new arias.

6 April, 1754: The last stage performance of any Handel opera until the 20th century.

HG edition: 73; HHA edition: II/19

HWV 23: Riccardo Primo, re d’Inghilterra

Libretto: By Paolo Antonio Rolli, after Francesco Briani, 1710

Completed score: 16 May 1727

First performance: 11 November 1727: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (11 performances to 16 December)

Original cast from first performance:

Riccardo I, King of England: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Costanza, daughter of the King of Navarre: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Pulcheria, Isacio’s daughter: Faustina Bordoni (soprano)

Oronte, Prince of Syria: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Berardo, Costanza’s cousin: Giovanni Battista Palmerini (bass)

Isacio, Governor of Cyprus: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Notes: Originally, the part of the Bohemian prince Corrado (an ally of Richard I) was slated for the contralto Anna Dotti. However, due to a postponement of the opera until the next season, the role of Corrado had to be removed as Dotti was no longer a member of the opera company.

HG edition: 74; HHA edition: II/20

HWV 24: Siroe, re di Persia

Libretto: By Nicola Haym, after Pietro Metastasio, 1726

Completed score: 5 February 1728

First performance: 17 February 1728: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (18 performances to 27 April)

Original cast from first performance:

Siroe, elder son of Cosroe, in love wtih Emira: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Emira, daughter of Asbite, King of Cambaya (killed by Cosroe): Faustina Bordoni (soprano)

Laodice, in love with Siroe: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Medarse, younger son of Cosroe: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Cosroe, King of Persia: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Arasse: Giovanni Battista Palmerini (bass)

HG edition: 75; HHA edition: II/21

HWV 25: Tolomeo, re d’Egitto

Libretto: By Nicola Francesco Haym, after Carlo Sigismondo Capece, 1711

Completed score: 19 April 1728

First performance: 30 April 1728: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (7 performances to 21 May)

Original cast of first performance:

Tolomeo, former ruler of Egypt: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Seleuce, wife of Tolomeo: Francesca Cuzzoni (soprano)

Elisa, sister of Araspe: Faustina Bordoni (soprano)

Alessandro, brother of Tolomeo: Antonio Baldi (alto-castrato)

Araspe, King of Cyprus: Giuseppe Maria Boschi (bass)

Revival: 19 May 1730: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (7 performances to 13 June)

2 January 1733: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 16 January]

HG edition: 76; HHA edition: II/22

HWV 26: Lotario

Libretto: Giacomo Rossi, After Antonio Salvi, 1722/9

Completed score: 16 November 1729

First performance: 2 December 1729: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (9 performances to 13 February 1730)

Original cast from first performance:

Adelaide: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Lotario, King of Germany: Antonio Maria Bernacchi (alto-castrato)

Berengario, Duke of Spoleto: Annibale Pio Fabri, called “Balino” (tenor)

Matilde, Berengario’s wife: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Idelberto, Berengario’s son, in love wtih Adelaide: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Clodomiro, Berengario’s general: Johann Gottfried Riemschneider (bass)

HG edition: 77; HHA edition: II/23

HWV 27: Partenope

Libretto: After Silvio Stampiglia, 1699/1708

Completed score: 12 February 1730

First performance: 24 February 1730: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (7 performances to 10 March)

Original cast from first performance:

Partenope, foundress of Naples: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Arsace, Prince of Corinth: Antonio Maria Bernacchi (alto-castrato)

Rosmira, disguised as the Armenian Prince Eurimene: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Armindo, Prince of Rhodes: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Emilio, Prince of Cuma: Annibale Pio Fabri, called “Balino” (tenor)

Ormonte: Johann Gottfried Riemschneider (bass)

Revival: 12 December 1730: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (7 performances to 9 January 1731)

29 January 1737: London, Covent Garden Theatre (4 performances to 9 February)

Cast from 1737 revival:

Partenope: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Arsace: Antonio Maria Bernacchi (alto-castrato)

Rosmira: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Armindo: Gioacchino Conti, called “Gizziello” (soprano-castrato)

Emilio: John Beard (tenor)

Ormonte: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Notes: 12 December 1730 revival contained new aria for Senesino.

HG edition: 78; HHA edition: II/24

HWV 28: Poro, re dell’Indie

Libretto: ?; After Pietro Metastasio, 1729

Completed score: 16 January 1731

First performance: 2 February 1731: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (14 performances to 27 March)

Original cast from first performance:

Poro, Indian King: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Cleofide, Poro’s lover: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Erissena, Poro’s sister: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Gandarte, Erissena’s lover: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Alessandro, King of Macedonia: Annibale Pio Fabri, called “Balino” (tenor)

Timagene, Alessandro’s general: Giovanni Giuseppe Commano (bass)

Revival: 23 November 1731: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (4 performances to 4 December)

Cast from 1731 revival:

Poro: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Cleofide: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Erissena: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Gandarte: Antonio Gualandi, called “Campioli” (alto-castrato)

Alessandro: Giovanni Battista Pinacci (tenor)

Timagene: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

8 December 1736: London, Covent Garden Theatre (4 performances to 5 January 1737)

Notes: 23 November 1731 revival contained 3 additional arias from other operas.

HG edition: 79; HHA edition: II/25

HWV 29: Ezio

Libretto: ?; After Pietro Metastasio, 1729

Completed score: 1732

First performance: 15 January 1732: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (5 performances to 29 January)

Original cast from first performance:

Ezio, Roman general: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Fulvia, his lover: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Valentiniano, Roman emperor: Anna Bagnolesi (contralto)

Onoria, his sister: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Massimo, Fulvia’s father: Giovanni Battista Pinacci (tenor)

Varo, Prefect of the Praetorian Guard: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

HG edition: 80; HHA edition: II/26

HWV 30: Sosarme, re di Media

Libretto: ?; After Antonio Salvi, 1707

Completed score: 4 February 1732

First performance: 15 February 1732: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (11 performances to 21 March)

Original cast from first performance:

Sosarme, King of Media, in love with Elmira: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Haliate, King of Lydia: Giovanni Battista Pinacci (tenor)

Elmira, Haliate’s daughter: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Erenice, Haliate’s wife: Anna Bagnolesi (contralto)

Argone, Haliate’s son: Antonio Gualandi, called “Campioli” (alto-castrato)

Melo: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Altomaro, counsellor to Sosarme: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

Revival: 27 April 1734: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (3 performances to 4 May)

Cast from 1734 revival:

Sosarme: Giovanni Carestini, called “Cusanino” (mezzo-soprano castrato)

Haliate: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Elmira: Anna Strada del Pò (soprano)

Erenice: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Argone: Carlo Scalzi (soprano-castrato)

Melo: Maria Rosa Negri (contralto)

Altomaro: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

HG edition: 81; HHA edition: II/27

HWV 31: Orlando

Libretto: ?; After Carlo Sigismondo Capece, 1711, from L. Ariosto, Orlando furioso, 1532.

Completed score: 20 November 1732

First performance: 27 January 1733: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (6 performances to 20 February; resumed 21 April for 4 more performances to 5 May)

Original cast from first performance:

Orlando, a knight: Francesco Bernardi, called “Senesino” (alto-castrato)

Angelica, Queen of Cathay: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Medoro, an African prince, her lover: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Dorinda, a shepherdess: Celeste Gismondi (soprano)

Zoroastro, a magician: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

HG edition: 82; HHA edition: II/28

HWV 32: Arianna in Creta

Libretto: ?; After Pietro Pariati, 1721/9

Completed score: 5 October 1733

First performance: 26 January 1734: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (14 performances to 12 March; also 16 & 20 April)

Original cast from first performance:

Arianna: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Teseo: Giovanni Carestini, called “Cusanino” (alto-castrato)

Carilda: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Alceste, her lover: Carlo Scalzi (soprano-castrato)

Tauride: Margherita Durastanti (soprano)

Minos: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

Revival: 27 November 1734: London, Covent Garden Theatre (5 performances to 11 December)

Notes: 27 November 1734 revival included new dances.

HG edition: 83; HHA edition: II/29

HWV 33: Ariodante

Libretto: ?; After Antonio Salvi’s 1708 “Ginevra principessa di Scozia”; from Ludovico Ariosto’s, Orlando furioso

Composed: 12 August-24 October 1734

First performance: 8 January 1735: London, Covent Garden Theatre (11 performances to 3 March)

Original cast from first performance:

Il Re di Scozia (King of Scotland): Gustavus Waltz (bass)

Ginevra, his daughter: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Ariodante, a prince: Giovanni Carestini, called “Cusanino” (mezzosoprano-castrato)

Lurcanio, Ariodante’s brother: John Beard (tenor)

Dalinda, a lady of the court: Cecilia Young (later Mrs. Arne) (soprano)

Polinesso, Duke of Albany: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Odoardo, a courtier: Mr Stoppelaer (tenor)

Revival: 5 May 1736: London, Covent Garden Theatre

HG edition: 85; HHA edition: II/32

HWV 34: Alcina

Libretto: After Riccardo Broschi’s L’Isola d’Alcina, 1728, from Ludovico Ariosto’s, Orlando furioso.

Completed score: 8 April 1735

First performance: 16 April 1735: London, Covent Garden Theatre (18 performances to 2 July, end of the season)

Original cast from first performance:

Alcina, a sorceress: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Morgana, her sister: Cecilia Young (later Mrs Arne) (soprano)

Ruggiero, a knight: Giovanni Carestini, called “Cusanino” (mezzosoprano-castrato)

Bradamante, his betrothed: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Oronte, commander of Alcina’s army: John Beard (tenor)

Melisso, Bradamante’s guardian: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

Oberto, a young nobleman: Mr. William Savage (boy soprano)

Revival: 6 November 1736: London, Covent Garden Theatre (3 performances to 1737)

10 & 21 June 1737: London, Covent Garden Theatre

Cast from 1736-7 revivals:

Alcina: Anna Strada del Pò (soprano)

Morgana: Maria Rosa Negri (contralto)

Ruggiero: Gioacchino Conti, called “Gizziello” (soprano-castrato)

Bradamante: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Oronte: John Beard (tenor)

Melisso: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

Oberto: Mr. William Savage (boy soprano)

HG edition: 86; HHA edition: II/33

HWV 35: Atalanta

Libretto: ?; After Belisario Valeriani, 1715

Composed: 1-22 April 1736

First performance: 12 May 1736: London, Covent Garden Theatre (8 performances to 9 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Atalanta, Princess of Arcadia: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Meleagro, King of Etolia, in love with Atalanta: Gioacchino Conti, called “Gizziello” (soprano-castrato)

Irene, a young shepherdess: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Aminta, a young shepherd: John Beard (tenor)

Nicandro, Irene’s father: Gustavus Waltz (bass)

Mercurio: Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass)

Revival: 20 & 27 November 1736: London, Covent Garden Theatre

HG edition: 87; HHA edition: II/34

HWV 36: Arminio

Libretto: ?; After Antonio Salvi, 1703, from de Campistron, 1684

Composed: 15 September – 14 October 1736

First performance: 12 January 1737: London, Covent Garden Theatre (5 performances to 26 January; also 12 February)

Original cast from first performance:

Arminio, German hero: Domenico Annibali (alto-castrato)

Tusnelda: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Sigismondo: Gioacchino Conti, called “Gizziello” (soprano-castrato)

Ramise: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Segeste: Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass)

Varo, Roman general: John Beard (tenor)

Tullio: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

HG edition: 89; HHA edition: II/35

HWV 37: Giustino

Libretto: ?; After Niccolo Beregan/Piandro Pariati, 1724

Composed: 14 August – 20 October 1736

First performance: 16 February 1737: London, Covent Garden Theatre (6 performances to 4 March; also 4, 11 May, 10 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Anastasio, the Emperor: Gioacchino Conti, called “Gizziello” (soprano-castrato)

Arianna, widow of the Emperor: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Giustino, Vitaliano’s brother: Domenico Annibali (alto-castrato)

Leocasta, Anastasio’s sister: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Amanzio: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Vitaliano, Giustino’s brother, leader of the rebellion against Anastasio: John Beard (tenor)

Polidarte: Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass)

La Fortuna: William Savage (boy soprano)

HG edition: 88; HHA edition: II/36

HWV 38: Berenice, regina d’Egitto

Libretto: ?; After Antonio Salvi, 1709

Composed: 18 December 1736 – 27 January 1737

First performance: 18 May 1737: London, Covent Garden Theatre (3 performances to 25 May; also 15 June)

Original cast from first performance:

Berenice, Queen of Egypt: Anna Maria Strada del Pò (soprano)

Selene, her sister: Francesca Bertolli (contralto)

Alessandro, a Roman nobleman: Gioacchino Conti, called “Gizziello” (soprano-castrato)

Demetrio, a prince: Domenico Annibali (alto-castrato)

Arsace, another prince: Maria Caterina Negri (contralto)

Fabio, Roman messenger: John Beard (tenor)

Aristobolo, a captain: Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass)

HG edition: 90; HHA edition: II/37

HWV 39: Faramondo

Libretto: ?; After Apostolo Zeno, 1720

Composed: 15 November – 24 December 1737

First performance: 3 January 1738: London, King’s Theare, Haymarket (7 performances to 24 January; also 16 May)

Original cast from first performance:

Faramondo, King of the Franks: Gaetano Majorano, called “Caffarelli” (soprano-castrato)

Clotilde, his sister: Elisabeth Duparc, called “La Francesina” (soprano)

Rosimonda, Gustavo’s daughter: Maria Antonia Marchesini, called “La Lucchesina” (alto)

Gustavo, King of the Cimbrians: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

Adolfo, his son: Margherita Chimenti, called “La Droghierina” (soprano)

Gernando, King of the Svevi: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Teobaldo, general of the Cimbrians: Antonio Lottini (bass)

Childerico, his supposed son: William Savage (boy soprano)

HG edition: 91; HHA edition: II/38

HWV 40: Serse (“Xerxes”)

Libretto: ?; After Silvio Stampiglia, 1694, from Niccolo Minato, 1654

Composed: 26 December 1737 – 14 February 1738

First performance: 15 April 1738: London, King’s Theatre, Haymarket (5 performances to 2 May)

Original cast from first performance:

Serse, King of Persia: Gaetano Majorano, called “Caffarelli” (soprano-castrato)

Arsamene, his brother: Maria Antonia Marchesini, called “La Lucchesina” (alto)

Amastre, betrothed to Serse: Antonia Maria Merighi (contralto)

Romilda, Ariodate’s daughter: Elisabeth Duparc, called “La Francesina” (soprano)

Atalanta, her sister: Margherita Chimenti, called “La Droghierina” (soprano)

Ariodate, a vassal prince: Antonio Montagnana (bass)

Elviro, servant to Arsamene: Antonio Lottini (bass)

Notes: Includes the famous aria, “Ombra mai fù” or “Handel’s Largo”.

HG edition: 92; HHA edition: II/39

HWV 41: Imeneo

Libretto: ?; After Silvio Stampiglia, 1723, 2-part ‘componimento dramatico’

Composed: 9-20 September 1738

Completed score: 10 October 1740

First performance: 22 November 1740: London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre (also 13 December).

Original cast from first performance:

Imeneo: William Savage (bass)

Tirinto: Giovanni Battista Andreoni (alto-castrato)

Rosmene: Elisabeth Duparc, called “La Francesina” (soprano)

Clomiri: Miss Edwards (soprano)

Argenio: Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass)

Revival: 24 March 1742: Dublin, New Music Hall, Fishamble St. (as Hymen, a Serenata, in Italian) (also 31 March)

HG edition: 93; HHA edition: II/40

HWV 42: Deidamia

Libretto: By Paolo Antonio Rolli

Composed: 27 October – 7 November 1740: Acts I and II; 14 – 20 November 1740: Act III

First performance: 10 January 1741: London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre (Also 24 January and 10 February; the 10 February performance took place at the “Little Theatre” in the Haymarket, London.)

Original cast from first performance:

Deidamia, daughter of Licomede: Elisabeth Duparc, called “La Francesina” (soprano)

Nerea, friend of Deidamia: Maria Monza (soprano)

Achille, in women’s dress, under the name of Pirra: Miss Edwards (soprano)

Ulisse, King of Ithaca, using the name Antiloco: Giovanni Battista Andreoni (alto-castrato)

Fenice, King of Argos: William Savage (bass)

Licomede, King of Skyros: Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass)

Note: The 10 February 1741 performance was the last performance of a Handel opera under the composer’s direction.

HG edition: 94; HHA edition: II/41

2 Responses to handel’s operas

  1. Pingback: 2013 summer | operamission

  2. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

Comments are closed.