Handel's Rodelinda

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

A deposed King ignites a fight for the newly-vacant throne, only to return to his Kingdom in disguise. Complete with love triangles, death threats and Rene Fleming singing the lead, Rodelinda kicks off the first broadcast of the season from the Metropolitan Opera.

Written by Handel in 1725, this production by Stephen Wadsworth premiered in 2004 and is described by Alex Ross as “essentially perfect.” Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and countertenor Andreas Scholl accompany Fleming as leads. Harry Bicket, the British conductor known for specializing in Baroque music, conducts.

Cast Details:

Rodelinda: Renee Fleming

Eduige: Stephanie Blythe

Bertarido: Andreas Scholl

Production Details:

Conductor: Harry Bicket

Production: Stephen Wadsworth

Set Design: Thomas Lynch

Weigh in: How do you find Renee Fleming in Baroque repertoire? What do you think of the Met Orchestra today? And the other singers? Leave your comments below:

Comments [4]

Scott E. Brodie from New York

I was utterly delighted with the performance of Rodelinda broadcast from the Met yesterday. If anything, even more beautiful and subtly phrased than the performance I attended live at the Met several years ago.

One thought: Does anyone else find the finale somehow hollow? Having killed off the only basso in the opera earlier in the final act, Handel must make do with an ensemble consisting of a soprano, a contralto, two countertenors, and a tenor. Calling the sound "bell-like" as the radio commentators did yesterday only puts a charitable gloss on a nagging difficulty.

Dec. 04 2011 12:43 PM
Kate Teale from NYC

I wonder why the conductor is not listed in your info about the broadcast? seems pretty important to me. Harry Bicket is superb.. and the orchestra one of the chief pleasures of this production.

Dec. 03 2011 04:20 PM
Jonny from NY

Although I don't usually love Fleming's baroque (I think her Handel CD is mediocre) I think she sings Rodelinda especially well. Stephanie Blythe is also wonderful. I saw this production live a week ago, and was very impressed with Shenyang, the young bass-baritone. Already an award winning and in-demand singer, he will be a household name.

Dec. 03 2011 02:45 PM
Justin from NYC Tri-State

Rodelinda - COUNTERTENOR POWER! Oh, please, please play more countertenor work during your regular broadcasts. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates this amazing fach's repertoire.

Dec. 03 2011 01:49 PM

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