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By George Frideric Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel)
Score & Libretto
Handel, Orlando - Chrysander (HG) score (pdf).
of Handel's Orlando by the Independent Opera (pdf).
|Handel, arranged by Jacobs. Orlando. (HWV
31, London 1733). DG-Archiv 0289 479 2199 8 (2 CDs, May
Details. René Jacobs, B'Rock. Orlando: Bejun Mehta,
countertenor; Angelica: Sophie Karthäuser, soprano;
Dorinda: Sunhae Im, soprano; Medoro: Kristina
Hammarström, mezzo-soprano; Zoroastro: Konstantin Wolff,
bass. A video of the production is online
here. I watched about 1/2 hour of the first act
before giving up in disgust. The staging is more of the
same -- I hope they're not paying for new Star Wars
costumes every year. As in other recent Handel operas,
Jacobs adds and subtracts instruments, invariably to the
detriment of the opera. In addition, he is now adding
bars at the beginning and end of some movements, dulling
down the impact of the recorder entry in the short
sinfonia (which is also lengthened at the end) and the
sudden string entry in "Itene pur tremendo". The first
significant shock is hearing organ continuo in
Zoroastro's "Lascia Amor e siegui Marti". Organ is added
here and there, and where the organ isn't heard, there
usually is a closely miced lute. It's hard enough to
hear the harpsichord in this performance, but Jacobs
performs the A section of Dorinda's "Ho un certo
rossore" senza cembalo except in tutti passages, then
adds the organ in the B section. Sunhae Im struggles in
the aria, to which I would give a C- as opposed to A+
for Emma Kirkby's performance with original scoring on
the vastly superior 1991 Hogwood recording. (Perhaps I'm
guilty of grade inflation, as I gave Im an F for her
performance in Spering's Siroe in 2004.) The cavatina
"Ritornava al suo bel viso", marked "Largo, e staccato,
mà piano" is performed faster and legato, with organ in
the tutti passages. That's all I could take. There's so
much terribly wrong that I could scarcely complain about
Jacobs' cutting the repeat of the second part of the
gigue. I find the student performances of Orlando
arias from Innsbruck much more satisfying, e.g.,
|Handel. Orlando. (HWV
31, London 1733). Atma (3 CDs, September 2013).
Program with Italian/English libretto (pdf).
Alexander Weimann, Pacific Baroque Orchestra. Orlando:
Owen Willetts, countertenor; Angelica: Karina Gauvin,
soprano; Medoro: Allyson McHardy, mezzo-soprano;
Dorinda: Amanda Forsythe, soprano; Zoroastro: Nathan
Berg, bass. I haven't heard this yet.
Orlando. (HWV 31, London 1733). K617221
(3 CDs, March 2010).
Details. Jean-Claude Malgoire, La Grande Écurie et la
Chambre du Roy. Orlando: Christophe Dumaux, countertenor;
Angelica: Elena de la Merced, soprano; Dorinda: Rachel Nicholls, soprano; Medoro:
Jean-Michel Fumas, countertenor; Zoroastro: Alain Buet, bass.
Mediocre recording with lots of vibrato. Stick with Hogwood.
Orlando. (HWV 31, London 1733). L'Oiseau-Lyre 430 845-2
(3 CDs, 1991). Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient
Music. Orlando: James Bowman, countertenor; Angelica: Arleen
Auger, soprano; Medoro: Catherine Robbin, contralto; Dorinda:
Emma Kirkby, soprano; Zoroastro: David Thomas, bass. Superb
performance of this highlight of Handel's career as an opera
Orlando. (HWV 31, London 1733). Erato 0630-14636-1 (3 CDs
1996). William Christie, Les Arts Florissants. Orlando: Patricia
Bardon, contralto; Dorinda: Rosa Mannion, soprano; Medoro:
Hilary Summers, contralto; Angelica: Rosemary Joshua, soprano;
Zoroastro: Harry van der Kamp, bass. I listened once a long time
ago and found it inferior to the Hogwood recording in nearly
Reissued on Warner Classics 2564-69653-2 (2008) in a 6-CD set with
Christie's recording of Alcina.
Domenico Scarlatti. Orlando (Rome 1711). Libretto by Carlo Sigismondo
Winton Dean. Handel's Operas, 1726-1741 (Boydell Press 2006).
R. Strohm, "Handel and his Italian opera texts"; "Comic traditions in
Handel's Orlando." Essays on Handel and the Italian Opera. (Oxford
University Press 1985).
Le magazine de l'opera-baroque page on Orlando