Following the triumphant success of Rinaldo, Handel’s third London opera Teseo (1713) was intended to make the still unfamiliar genre of opera even more palatable to the English public. Indeed, Handel succeeded in building on the success of Rinaldo, the work also featuring numerous stage effects and, not least, of course, a wealth of musical ideas. Teseo is an exceptional work in several respects, for the Italian libretto by Nicola Haym is based on a French original by Philippe Quinault and therefore retains the five-act form customary in France. And Handel also proves that he obviously studied the French opera tradition more intensively: More than usual, we encounter solutions here that do not fit into the usual scheme of secco recitative and da capo aria. For the role of Medea alone, Handel composed several accompagnato recitatives and arias that superficially follow the da capo form, but, as for example in Morirò, ma vendicata from the fifth act, with its abrupt change between a somber lamentation and a wild outburst of anger in the A part, disregard the rules of aria composition. Numerous duets as well as an elaborate chorus also refer musically to the French tradition. CARUS releases here a spectacular live recording of the highly acclaimed production at the Stuttgart State Opera under Konrad Junghänel.
Release Date: November 13, 2009