booklet: (German, English, French) · introduction by David Alden · storyline · libretto (German, English, French, Italian)
In the first act we see a bright day in Arcady, in the second act we plunge into darkest night, so as to awaken in the third act into a new, frightful day in which the people are arguing and fighting with one another. One feels that by the end the entire court has aged several centuries, thrown back into the messy world of battles of the Middle Ages. Handel’s music accompanies one on the journey. After a first act characterised by games, flirtations and pranks, it switches into the deepest romantic Angst, and finally into the days of knighthood of bygone years. What fascinates me about Handel’s Ariodante is the nice clear structure of the piece. - David Alden
Composed in 1735 and as modern as tomorrow: a society without values, eccentric, egoistical. Love doesn't have a chance in that kind of society, as Ariodante and Ginevra discover after the power-hungry Polinesso unleashes his intrigues against them. This production makes everyone involved into the non plus ultra of what Händel opera stands for today: pure beauty – grim truth.
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"Murray is the most vivid Ariodante on disc… she's so thoroughly 'in' the character that she sweeps us along… countertenor Robson is a super-villain in the best mustache-twirling tradition…" www.classicstoday.com