Caught in a power play that could break a marriage and steal a throne, can Rodelinda stay true to love? Rodelinda is a dramatic tale of power, anguish and love. When Grimoaldo takes Bertarido’s throne, Bertarido flees abroad, leaving behind his grieving wife Rodelinda. The usurper tries to force Rodelinda to love him, but when the exiled king returns in disguise, everyone is put to the test.
One of Handel’s finest operas, Rodelinda is filled with intense drama told through ravishingly beautiful music. Award-winning theatre and opera director Richard Jones brings his distinctive theatrical imagination to this production, which was originally seen at London Coliseum in 2014 and sets Handel’s bitter political drama in Fascist Italy.
George Frideric Handel was a German, baroque composer born in 1685 who spent most of his career in London. Rodelinda is made up of three acts and was composed for the Royal Academy of Music. It was first performed in London at the King’s Theatre in 1725. Today Handel operas feature regularly in the repertory of festivals and opera companies of all sizes. However, Handel’s work went unheard for nearly two centuries until the revival of his work began in 1920 in GÖttingen. Since then Rodelinda has been regarded as one of Handel’s greatest works. Beethoven summed up the genius of Handel – saying he achieved “the greatest effects through the simplest means”.
Director Richard Jones worked as a jazz musician before beginning his directing career in Glasgow with Scottish Opera and the Citizens’ Theatre.
Heading the cast is Rebecca Evans, whose performance of the title role in 2014 was hailed as ‘perfection’ (Daily Telegraph), the opera returns with translation by Amanda Holden. Also returning for this first revival is Susan Bickley and Baroque-specialist conductor Christian Curnyn. Tim Mead, regarded as one of the UK’s finest countertenors, adds Bertarido to his roster of English National Opera roles.
Learn more about London operas within the West End.