MuseData: George Frideric Handel
The Royal Academy (1719-28)
The Royal Academy (1729-34)
Covent Garden (1734-37)
Covent Garden opened at the end of 1732. Spoken plays constituted most of the repertory that the theater initially offered to the public. The idea of interleaving opera performances a few nights week created an opening for Handel. While Ariodante was taking shape, Handel composed ballet music for a revival of Il pastor fido and assembled the pastiche Oreste, both of which were performed at the theater late in 1734.
Ariodante (HWV 33)
Handel's Ariodante was composed between August and October 1734. It was the first new opera entirely by him to be performed at Convent Garden.
Antonio Salvi's text (then called Ginevra in Scozia) was originally composed in 1708 for a production (with music by Giacomo Perti) at Pratolino (Florence). It became better known through Carlo Francesco Pollarolo's setting (as Ariodante) for San Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice, in November 1716. It was this opera production that launched the stellar career of Faustina Bordoni, whose voice was by now celebrated throughout Europe.