Opera Scotland

From first performances

Ariodante in Scotland

Posted 17 Feb 2016

Despite the initial success of Ariodante (receiving 11 performances at Covent Garden in 1735) it immediately fell into neglect and was not revived until relatively recently - hence its seemingly late appearance in Scotland. It is now seen as one of Handel's greatest works.

The first performance of Ariodante in Scotland was on 10 September 1982, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. The company involved was the Piccola Scala division from La Scala Milan, making its first visit to Edinburgh since 1957. The beautiful production was in the hands of Pier Luigi Pizzi, who designed as well as directing, while the conductor was Sir Roger Norrington, seen at the time as a specialist in baroque opera.

Of the singers, the title role was taken by the English mezzo Carolyn Watkinson. Two excellent Americans were also in the cast – heroine Ginevra being sung by Lella Cuberli, while the villainous Polinesso was played by the counter-tenor Jeffrey Gall. The leading tenor, in the part of Lurcanio, was the Peruvian Ernesto Palacio, an excellent Rossini stylist, now remembered as the teacher of Juan Diego Flórez.

More details of these performances can be found here.


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