plainpicture/Narratives/ Brent Darby

Opera

New

Ariodante

Georg Friedrich Handel

Palais Garnier

from 20 April to 20 May 2023

3h55 with 2 intervals

Ariodante

Palais Garnier - from 20 April to 20 May 2023

Synopsis

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If Handel were alive today, he would be termed resilient. In 1734‑1735, when the public had cooled towards him and his contract with the King’s Theatre drew to a close, the composer began to write Ariodante, an “opera seria” intended for the opening of the brand new Theatre Royal in Covent Garden. As if galvanised by adversity, he produced a radiant work, as virtuoso as the libretto, drawn from an episode of Arioste’s Orlando Furioso, is simple: Ginevra, a Scottish princess, is in love with Ariodante to whom she is betrothed, but a conspiracy led by the traitor Polinesso results in her being accused of infidelity. As well as giving us Handel’s most beautiful lament, this inspired score abounds throughout in virtuoso arias and breathes theatrical intelligence. Enough to inspire Robert Carsen who, in the wake of his legendary Paris Opera production of Alcina, composed the same year, signs a new production of Ariodante.

Duration : 3h55 with 2 intervals

Language : Italian

Surtitle : French / English

  • Opening

  • First part 65 min

  • Intermission 20 min

  • Second part 70 min

  • Intermission 20 min

  • Third part 60 min

  • End

Show acts and characters

CHARACTERS

The King of Scotland: Ginevra’s father
Ginevra: Daughter of the King of Scotland, betrothed to Ariodante
Ariodante: Feudal Prince, Ginevra’s fiancé
Lurcanio: Ariodante’s brother, in love with Dalinda
Polinesso: Duke of Albany
Dalinda: Ginevra’s lady-in-waiting, secretly in love with Polinesso
Odoardo: King’s secretary

Act 1:
Ginevra, daughter of the King of Scotland, tells her lady-in-waiting Dalinda that she and Prince Ariodante are in love. When Polinesso, the Duke of Albany, enters Ginevra’s bedroom unannounced and declares his love for her, Ginevra firmly rejects him. Dalinda tells Polinesso that since Ginevra loves Ariodante, the Duke should instead turn his attentions to her lady-in-waiting. Alone, Polinesso forms a plan to use Dalinda’s love for him to destroy Ariodante, marry Ginevra and gain the throne. Ariodante and Ginevra are overjoyed when the King tells them not only that their wedding can take place the following day, but also that Ariodante is to inherit the throne. Polinesso lets Dalinda believe that he loves her, but only after she promises to appear later that night dressed in Ginevra’s clothes. Lurcanio, Ariodante’s brother, tells Dalinda that he is in love with her, but she tells him to look elsewhere. In the presence of the King and the entire court, Ariodante and Ginevra celebrate their future wedding.

Act 2:
Later that night, Polinesso questions Ariodante about his impending marriage, insinuating that he is already Ginevra’s lover. Ariodante challenges him to fight, but Polinesso tells the distraught prince to hide instead and observe Ginevra’s behavior. Ariodante is then horrified to see his fiancée, who is really Dalinda in disguise, invite Polinesso into her bedroom. Lurcanio has also been tricked by Polinesso’s mise‑en‑scène, and prevents his grief-stricken brother from killing himself. Polinesso gloats over the success of his plan. The next morning, the King’s private secretary Odoardo brings the news that Ariodante has drowned himself. When the King breaks the news to Ginevra, she collapses in grief and is carried from the room. Lurcanio demands justice from the King. Claiming that Ginevra’s infidelity was the sole cause of his brother’s suicide, he declares that he will fight anyone who dares to defend her. When Ginevra appears, the King accuses her of immorality and refuses to speak to her. The grief-stricken Ginevra, shocked by the death of Ariodante and her father’s inexplicable rejection, loses her mind.

Act 3:
Ariodante has survived his suicide attempt and is lost in the forest. He saves Dalinda from assassins, hired by Polinesso to silence her. When Dalinda confesses that she disguised herself as Ginevra, Ariodante understands how Polinesso has manipulated them all. The King refuses to speak to his daughter until a champion can be found. Polinesso offers to defend Ginevra’s honour and fight Lurcanio. Brought before her father, Ginevra refuses to accept Polinesso as her champion, but the King insists on it. Lurcanio fights Polinesso, who is fatally wounded. Ginevra’s cause seems lost when suddenly an unknown man enters to challenge Lurcanio: it is Ariodante. Odoardo prevents the two brothers from fighting, bringing news that Polinesso confessed to his crimes before dying. As the King leaves to find Ginevra, Ariodante rejoices. Dalinda, alone with Lurcanio, gladly accepts his love, and repents her past behaviour. Reunited with Ginevra, Ariodante begs forgiveness for having doubted her. The two brothers and their wives‑to-be celebrate their future together, leaving the court to rejoice in the happy ending.

Artists

Opera in three acts (1735)

After Antonio Salvi Ginevra, principessa di Scozia

Inspired by L’Arioste, Orlando furioso

Creative team

The English Concert
The Paris Opera Chorus
A coproduction with the Metropolitan Opera, New-York

Ariodante fait l’objet d’une captation, réalisée par Floris Bernard, produite par l’Opéra national de Paris, avec le soutien de la Fondation Orange, mécène des retransmissions audiovisuelles de l’Opéra national de Paris, et sera retransmis en direct le 11 mai 2023 sur la plateforme de l’Opéra national de Paris : Paris Opera Play.

Ariodante sera diffusé le samedi 27 mai 2023 sur France Musique à 20 h dans l’émission «  Samedi à l’Opéra  », présentée par Judith Chaine.

Media

  • Love and betrayal at the Scottish Court

    Love and betrayal at the Scottish Court

    Watch the video

  • Podcast Ariodante

    Podcast Ariodante

    Listen the podcast

  • Draw-me Ariodante

    Draw-me Ariodante

    Watch the video

Love and betrayal at the Scottish Court

Watch the video

Interview with the director Robert Carsen.

4:51 min

Love and betrayal at the Scottish Court

By Isabelle Stibbe

After Alcina, Robert Carsen directs a new production of Ariodante, composed the same year, 1735. Today, he discusses the expressivity and virtuosity of Handel's music. He highlights the clarity of the plot and the characters' psychological veracity as they confront each other at the Scottish court: Princess Ginevra, her fiancé Ariodante and his rival Polinesso.

© plainpicture/Narratives/ Brent Darby

Podcast Ariodante

Listen the podcast

"Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera" - by France Musique

Podcast Ariodante

By Jean-Baptiste Urbain

"Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera" offers original incursions into the season thanks to broadcasts produced by France Musique and the Paris Opera.

For each opera or ballet production, Charlotte Landru-Chandès (opera) and Jean-Baptiste Urbain (dance), present the works and artists you are going to discover when you attend performances in our theatres.

© Matthieu Pajot

Draw-me Ariodante

Watch the video

Understand the plot in 1 minute

1:37 min

Draw-me Ariodante

By Matthieu Pajot

  • [EXTRAIT] ARIODANTE de Haendel (Emily D'Angelo) - "Dopo Notte"
  • [EXTRAIT] ARIODANTE de Haendel (Matthew Brooke) - "Voli Colla Sua Tromba"
  • [EXTRAIT] ARIODANTE de Haendel (Olga Kulchynska) - "Il Mio Crudel Martoro"
  • [EXTRAIT] ARIODANTE de Haendel (Tamara Banjesevic) - "Se Tanto Piace Al Cor"

Access and services

Palais Garnier

Place de l'Opéra

75009 Paris

Public transport

Underground Opéra (lignes 3, 7 et 8), Chaussée d’Antin (lignes 7 et 9), Madeleine (lignes 8 et 14), Auber (RER A)

Bus 20, 21, 27, 29, 32, 45, 52, 66, 68, 95, N15, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Edouard VII16 16, rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris

Book your parking spot
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Restaurant

    CoCo is open every day from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am. More information on coco-paris.com or at +33 1 42 68 86 80 (reservations).

  • Last-minute tickets

    €10 for seats with a limited view of the stage and special reduced rates are available. 

    LEARN MORE.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Edouard VII. It is located at Rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris (in front of 23 Rue de Caumartin).

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

At the Palais Garnier, buy €10 tickets for seats in the 6th category (very limited visibility, two tickets maximum per person) on the day of the performance at the Box offices.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €35 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €70 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Palais Garnier
  • Every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and until performances end
  • Get in from Place de l’Opéra or from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 53 43 03 97

Palais Garnier

Place de l'Opéra

75009 Paris

Public transport

Underground Opéra (lignes 3, 7 et 8), Chaussée d’Antin (lignes 7 et 9), Madeleine (lignes 8 et 14), Auber (RER A)

Bus 20, 21, 27, 29, 32, 45, 52, 66, 68, 95, N15, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Edouard VII16 16, rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris

Book your parking spot
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Restaurant

    CoCo is open every day from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am. More information on coco-paris.com or at +33 1 42 68 86 80 (reservations).

  • Last-minute tickets

    €10 for seats with a limited view of the stage and special reduced rates are available. 

    LEARN MORE.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Edouard VII. It is located at Rue Bruno Coquatrix 75009 Paris (in front of 23 Rue de Caumartin).

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

At the Palais Garnier, buy €10 tickets for seats in the 6th category (very limited visibility, two tickets maximum per person) on the day of the performance at the Box offices.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €35 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €70 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Palais Garnier
  • Every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and until performances end
  • Get in from Place de l’Opéra or from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 53 43 03 97

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