A riotous updating of Handel’s most successful opera.
Christian knight Rinaldo loves Almirena, but she has been kidnapped by the scheming sorceress Armida. A magical battle of wits and wills ensues between Rinaldo’s Crusaders and the Saracen army, as the fate not just of two lovers but two nations hangs in the balance.
Robert Carsen’s exuberant schoolroom staging is well on its way to becoming a Glyndebourne classic, bringing out all the energy and excess in Handel’s first opera for the London stage. The composer’s colourful, tune-filled score – bright with brass fanfares and memorable arias including Lascia ch’io pianga – is one of his finest, sweeping the audience from laughter to love and back again, in this exotic, East-meets-West musical fantasy.
Two young singers lead the cast. Countertenor Jake Arditti takes the title role and, fresh from playing Michal in Glyndebourne Festival’s Saul, soprano Anna Devin is Almirena. American soprano Jacquelyn Stucker makes her Glyndebourne debut as Armida, with bass-baritone Aubrey Allicock as Saracen king Argante.