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Arminio (HWV 36)

Dramma per musica in three acts by George Frideric Handel

‘Hermann of the Cherusci’ and the Varus Battle found their way into the German founding myth a long time ago. Arminius, whose Teutons roundly defeated three of Varus’ legions, was already described as the ‘Liberator of Germania’ by Tacitus. In Handel’s Arminio, the liberation battle is only the background against which the characters come to terms with themes like honour, duty, obedience, love and freedom, which the renowned Swiss director, Erich Sidler, staged for the Festival.

Antonio Salvi’s libretto is based on the 1684 French tragedy Arminius by Jean-Galbert de Campistron. Arminio premiered in the Covent Garden Theatre on January 12, 1737 but disappeared from the London stage after only six performances. Almost 200 years later, it was revived in Leipzig as Hermann und Thusnelda. After performances in Halle (2014) and Karlsruhe (2015), this late work of Handel’s could finally be seen in Göttingen.

Performance material:

Hallische Händel-Ausgabe, Bärenreiter-Verlag Kassel · Basel · London · New York · Praha
Published by Michael Pacholke

The opera premiere was broadcast live on NDR Kultur. Deutschlandfunk Kultur broadcast the performance on May 19, 2018 at 7.05 pm.

Supported by     




Erich Sidler Stage director
Dirk Becker Set designer
Renée Listerdal Costume designer
Michael Lebensieg Light designer

Christopher Lowrey Countertenor – Arminio
Anna Devin Soprano – Tusnelda
Sophie Junker Soprano – Sigismondo
Helena Rasker Contralto – Ramise
Paul Hopwood Tenor – Varo
Owen Willetts Countertenor – Tullio
Cody Quattlebaum Bass-baritone – Segeste

FestspielOrchester Göttingen

Laurence Cummings Musical director