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Rodrigo (HWV 5)

Dramma per musica in three Acts by George Frideric Handel

Libretto after Francesco Silvani
Staged performance in Italian

For a long time, a large portion of Handel’s early opera Rodrigo was thought to have been lost. It was not until 1974 that the printed libretto turned up again, and nine years later the third act was found in the Earl of Shaftesbury’s Handel collection. On August 29, 1984, finally, the work was revived during the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music conducted by Alan Curtis, and in 2019 it’s on the programme at the Göttingen International Handel Festival.

The opera narrates a freely adapted version of the end to the regency of the Last Visigoth King Roderich. In the libretto by Francesco Silvani, however, the reason behind it is less the lust for power on the part of his opponents than the thirst for vengeance of his spurned mistress. It was back in 1707 in Rome that George Frideric Handel wrote Vincer se stesso è la maggior vittoria (which translates as “To overcome oneself is the greater victory”), which is Rodrigo’s real title. The opera was not commissioned by Principe Ferdinando de’ Medici, as researchers had for a long time assumed, but nonetheless it paved the way for Handel’s further sojourn in Italy.

Pre-performance talks
Dr. David Vickers (in English), 4 pm, DT-X Keller
Tobias Wolff (in German), 4 pm, DT-2

Further performances
17.05., 6 pm / 19.05., 5 pm / 20.05., 3 pm / 22.05., 7 pm / 25.05., 3 pm

Family version of the opera
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 12 noon, Deutsches Theater Göttingen, DT-1

Performance material:
Hallische Händel-Ausgabe, Bärenreiter-Verlag Kassel · Basel · London · New York · Praha
Published by Rainer Heyink

Access to the theatre, DT-2 and seating in the stalls is barrier-free. For further information on Festival venue accessibility, please see the overview.

Supported by             





26 May
5 pm
Deutsches Theater Göttingen
Duration 3,5 hrs


Walter Sutcliffe Stage director
Dorota Karolczak Set and costume designer

Erica Eloff Soprano – Rodrigo
Fflur Wyn Soprano – Esilena
Anna Dennis Soprano – Florinda
Jorge Navarro Colorado Tenor – Giuliano
Russell Harcourt Countertenor – Evanco
Leandro Marziotte Countertenor – Fernando

FestspielOrchester Göttingen

Laurence Cummings Musical director