|My dear Rinaldo,
How I long for you to accomplish the destruction of the infidel so that we may be joined in holy wedlock forever. Take possession of Jerusalem as you have taken possession of my heart and return to me triumphant.
Yours in Christ,
If you ever want to see Almirena alive again, you’d do well to understand how much I adore you and to what lengths I will go to make you mine. Come to me. I will be waiting.
Yours and yours alone,
Performed in English in the Great Hall of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 811 Cathedral Street in historic Mount Vernon.
For tickets call 410-547-7997 or visit operavivente.org. Ticket prices are $30-$75 for all performances. Good seats are still available!
Opera Vivente presents the American premiere of George Frideric Handel’s 1731 version of Rinaldo.
Rinaldo takes place during the time of the Crusades. Rinaldo has been promised the hand of Almirena, daughter of the General of the Crusade force, Goffredo, if the city is conquered. Meanwhile, the Muslim Argante and his mistress Armida, Queen of Damascus, thwart those plans by abducting Almirena. Rinaldo sets off in pursuit and is himself captured. With the intervention of a Magician and sundry Spirits, Goffredo eventually restores order and frees Rinaldo who, in the final battle, swings the balance in favor of the Christians. Rinaldo and Almirena are reunited; Argante and Armida are captured and convert to Christianity.
In 1711, Rinaldo became the basis for Handel’s operatic success. Its composition was quick, because Handel used a great deal of music that he had previously composed. The opera was revived several times, culminating in a completely revised Rinaldo in 1731. Even that revised Rinaldo incorporated arias from other Handel operas, including Lotario, Partenope, Giulio Cesare and Admeto.
The significance of Opera Vivente producing the 1731 version is that, not only is it a true rarity, but it is a programming choice that reflects economic and audience trends of today that are very similar to those that Handel faced in 1731. His theater had far fewer resources in 1731 than in 1711 and audiences were eschewing spectacle – one would now call it “grand opera”-in favor of shows that touched a more human and emotional chord. Therefore with this new production of Rinaldo, Opera Vivente is acknowledging an artistic as well as a situational connection to history.
Friday, 3.4.11 at 7:30pm
Sunday, 3.6.11 at 3pm
Thursday, 3.10.11 at 7:30pm
Saturday, 3.12.11 at 7:30pm
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CAST AND CREW
Donald Edmund Thomas
ABOUT OPERA VIVENTE
Founded in 1994, Opera Vivente is dedicated to bringing new audiences to opera with its innovative production style, intimate performing space, and commitment to opera in English. Opera Vivente is distinguished from other Baltimore-area professional opera companies because of its commitment to presenting fully produced operas-with orchestra, sets, lights, costumes and acting.