George Frederick Handel

Lotario, opera, HWV 26

    Description by Rita Laurance

    Lotario was the opening opera of the new Academy, founded after the failure and bankruptcy of the first Royal Academy of Music. There was a year without any operas whatsoever after the first Academy's failure, during which Handel made a trip to the European continent to scout for new operatic talent, and to hire singers. When he returned, he and Heidegger went back into business at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket, with many of the old Academy's subscribers. The opera Lotario harks back to the operas of the Academy in its musical style and complicated opera seria plot. It features a usurping tyrant imposing his will on everyone else in the story, which is about the many trials and tribulations Lotario and others face at his hands. In the end, the tyrant Berengario repents and is forgiven so that all may end happily. The plot is rather convoluted and confusing, ineffective dramatically, and was probably difficult to be inspired about. The tyrant has much of the best solo music, but overall the opera is not one of Handel's finer. It was a miserable failure as far as the public was concerned. The London public wanted English opera. They had become enamored of the kind of spoof on opera seria represented by John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, and were sick of the pretensions of the Italians.

    In an effort to cater to the tastes of Londoners, Handel included more vocal ensembles in these later works, as well as more visual spectacle. Because finances were tighter than in earlier years, attempts were made to reuse sets, costumes, and machinery from former operatic productions. The theater owned a besieged wall that could collapse on cue during a battle scene, and this was used as a special effect in Lotario. The libretto of Lotario was based on an original theatrical work called Adelaide by Salvi, which had been set by both Torri and Orlandini, and performed in Venice in 1729. These heroic libretti were often based on historical facts, and built around stiff conventions into which the composer was supposed to breath life. Handel creates a magnificent, grandiose matriarch in the person of Matilda, and an ardent lover in Idelbert. There is a standard but dramatic prison scene, and a moving love duet for Adelaide and Lotario. Some of the music was reused by Handel in other works, which is a testament to its worth.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Overture in D major
    2. Grave è'l fasto di regnar, Arioso
    3. Signor, vuole il mio fato, Recitative
    4. Alto Signor, dall'Alpi, Recitative
    5. Sposo! Regina!, Recitative
    6. Non pensi quell'altera, Aria
    7. Madre, e Reina!, Recitative
    8. Vanne a colei che adori, Aria
    9. Fin ch'io non chiuda, Recitative
    10. Per salvarti, idolo mio, Aria
    11. Soglie, degliavi miei, Recitative
    12. Attenta ogno mio cenno osservi, Recitative
    13. Belle Reina: il cielo, Recitative
    14. Rammentati, cor mio, Aria
    15. Or venga il messagiero, Recitative
    16. Regina, anche fra l'armi, Recitative
    17. Se il mar promette calma, Aria
    18. Nel Ciel sì speri, e poi, Recitative
    19. Quel cor che mi donasti, Aria
    20. O del mio caro ben, Recitative
    21. Già mi sembra al caro avvinto, Aria
    22. Viva e regni fortunato, Chorus
    23. Popoli generosi, Recitative
    24. Dell'altrui felonia, Recitative
    25. Orgogliosetto va' l'augelletto, Aria
    26. Quanto piu fien tenacci, Recitative
    27. Scherza in mar la navicella, Aria
    28. Son vinto, ciel, son vinto!, Sinfonia & Recitative
    29. Sei priggioniero!, Recitative
    30. Regno e grandezza, vassalli e trono, Aria
    31. Se del fiero tiranno trionfò, Recitative
    32. Tiranna, ma bella, m'uccide, e m'alletta, Aria
    33. Menti eterne che reggete, Aria
    34. Con due doni, Adelaide, Recitative
    35. Non t'inganni la speranza, Aria
    36. Adelaide che pensi?, Recitative
    37. Hai tanto ardir? nè ti sovvien, Recitative
    38. Reina, in fausti avvisi, Recitative
    39. Arma lo sguardo d'un dolce dardo, Aria
    40. Di miglio genitor, Recitative
    41. Bella, non mi negar, Aria
    42. Sommo Rettor del Cielo, Recitative
    43. D'una torbida sorgente, Aria
    44. Quanto più forte e il valor, Arioso
    45. Pressi gli ostaggi, or ora, Recitative
    46. Ecco la prigioniera, Recitative
    47. No, colla mia vita, Recitative
    48. Berengario, rifletti, Recitative
    49. D'instabile fortuna non dempre in tuo favore, Aria
    50. Alla tenda Reale vada Idelberto, Recitative
    51. Non disperi peregrino se nel dubbio suo camino, Aria
    52. Sinfonia in B flat major
    53. Sciolta dalle catene, Recitative
    54. Vieni, o bella Adelaide, Recitative
    55. Non sempre invendicata io resterò così, Aria
    56. Ben conosce Adelaide, Recitative
    57. Vi sento, sì, rimorsi entro al mio sen, Aria
    58. Non mi tradir speranaza, Recitative
    59. Quel superbo già si crede, Aria
    60. Berengario al mio campo, Recitative
    61. Sinfonia in D major
    62. Misero me! che veggio?, Recitative
    63. Ah! Signor, se la vita, Recitative
    64. A tempo qui giungesti, Recitative
    65. Alla Regal mia tenda, Recitative
    66. Ah! fortuna, Recitative
    67. Alza il Ciel pianta orgogliosa, Aria
    68. Inclito Re, Pavia mossa a pietade, Recitative
    69. Vedrò più liete e belle o vago mio tesor, Aria
    70. Lasciami, iniquo figlio!, Recitative
    71. Impara, codardo, ch'un anima forte, Aria
    72. Omai non v'è più speme, Recitative
    73. S'è delitto trar da' lacci un innocente, Aria
    74. Furie del crudo averno, e dove siete?, Recitative
    75. Ecco la cruda; olà, Recitative
    76. Matilde, e qual furore?, Recitative
    77. Lascia, mio Re, mio difensor, Recitative
    78. Deh! mia Reina, salva, Recitative
    79. Sì, bel sembiante, tu m'hai ferito, Duet
    80. Cessi di Marte, Recitative
    81. Gioje e serto dona al merto, Chorus
    82. Già mi sembra al carro avvinto, Supplemental Aria
    83. D'instabile fortuna non sempre in tuo favore, Supplemental Aria
    84. Inclito Re, Pavia, Recitative
    85. Vedrò più liete e belle o vago mio tesor, Supplemental Aria
    86. Ombre di vil timore, Supplemental Recitative
    87. Io vedo, si, non più torbida la face, Supplemental Aria

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Accent ACC 26408
    2004 DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 58797