Rinaldo in Estonia



Opera by Georg Friedrich Händel in two acts

Libretto by Giacomo Rossi based on Aaron Hill and Torquato Tasso
World premiere on February 24, 1711 at Queen’s Theatre
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera on September 18, 2014

In Italian, with subtitles in Estonian and English
Approx running time 2 h 40 min
Strobo light is used in the production
S, 8 February 2015 / 17:00
S, 7 March 2015 / 19:00
S, 29 March 2015 / 17:00

Tallinn Opera House Main Theater, Estonia

Tallinn Opera House Main Theater, Estonia

Stage Director William Relton:
“When I first saw “Rinaldo”, nothing had prepared me for the delight which I felt while watching this masterpiece for the first time. It was his first opera written for London, not only that, it was the first opera in the Italian language to be written for the London stage. The premiere of “Rinaldo”, loosely based on Tasso’s epic poem “Gerusalemme liberata” (Jerusalem delivered), took place at the Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket in early 1711 and was a huge hit. Gorgeous arias, a fabulous, extravagant plot, dramatic characters, all that one could wish for, were present. Conquest, magic, deception, thwarted love, betrayal, sex, violence, abduction, an heroic quest, battles; it seemed as if Händel had thrown every single theatrical device in the book at it. “Rinaldo” went on to be the most performed of Händel’s operas during his lifetime. The opera was so successful that it was given in a fairly extensively revised version in 1731, however we are basing our performing edition on the original 1711 score. And what of the music? Even for Händel this opera has a large number of “hit” arias that leaves one gasping. And then there is of course the incomparable “Lascia ch’io pianga” sung by Almirena in the middle of Act 2. One of Händel’s most beautiful and celebrated arias. A treat indeed!”

Staging team
: Andres Mustonen, Risto Joost
Stage Director: William Relton (England)
Designer: Cordelia Chisholm (England)
Lighting Designer: Johanna Town (England)
Movement Director: Kati Kivitar

Rinaldo, a crusader, a hero: Monika-Evelin Liiv, Annaliisa Pillak
Goffredo, head of the Christians, leader of the First Crusade: Oliver Kuusik, Mati Turi
Almirena, Goffredo’s daughter: Heli Veskus, Olga Zaitseva
Argante, Saracen king of Jerusalem: Rauno Elp, Aare Saal
Armida, sorceress, Queen of Damascus, Argante’s mistress: Helen Lepalaan, Kristel Pärtna
Sirens: Kadri Kipper, Juuli Lill, Olga Zaitseva
A magician: Märt Jakobson, Mart Laur
Eustazio, Goffredo’s brother: Mart Madiste, Roman Chervinko
A herald: Ivo Onton, Mati Vaikmaa

Tllinn Opera House

Tllinn Opera House

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