Dutch National Opera presents

Ariodante Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

This show was to been seen in January 2016


Duration 4:05

Breaks 2

By Georg Friedrich Händel

Language Italian

Surtitles English & Dutch


Georg Friedrich Händel
Opera in tre atti, HWV 33
Libretto anonymous, after Antonio Salvi
World premiere 8 January 1735, Covent Garden Theatre, London


New production
Premiere 17 January 2016
Co-production with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Canadian Opera Company Toronto and Lyric Opera of Chicago

An exciting story and convincing characters make Händel’s Ariodante one of the best of the Baroque (opera seria). Händel’s masterpiece revolves around the conflict between love and duty.

In short

The production of Ariodante forms a new addition to Dutch National Opera’s fine series of Händel operas. With regard to the exciting story and convincing portrayal of the characters, Ariodante is one of the best that the opera seria genre has to offer. The intimate piece is full of warmth and humanity. A search for true love is thwarted by various intrigues, and religious and political interests clash with one another. Ariodante was nominated for best New Production at the International Opera Awards 2015.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly sings the title role of Ariodante. Baroque specialist Andrea Marcon leads Concerto Köln. Both can be seen in this trailer of Ariodante.
Puppets play an important role in Ariodante. At the end of each act these puppets look ahead to the next act. Watch in this video how the puppeteers are working with these puppets.

The story

In the palace of the King of Scotland, Ariodante and Ginevra are celebrating their engagement. Ariodante’s rival, Polinesso, abuses the serving girl Dalinda into falsifying the evidence of Ginevra’s infidelity. When he presents it to the court, it looks as if Ginevra will lose her senses, but fortunately she is saved at the last moment.

Richard Jones


RICHARD JONES (director) has directed the operas Die Meistersinger van Nürnberg, La fanciulla del West, Rodelinda (ENO), Anna Nicole (ROH Covent Garden, Brooklyn Academy of Music), Ariodante (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Welsh National Opera), Der Rosenkavalier (Glyndebourne), Peter Grimes (La Scala), Hänsel und Gretel (MET New York), De Zaak Makropulos (Frankfurt), Wozzeck (Komisch Opera Berlin), Un ballo in maschera and La bohème (Bregenzer Festspiele).

Andrea Marcon


ANDREA MARCON (musical director) is known for his interpretations of Baroque, classical and early Romantic repertoire.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Andrea Marcon
Stage Director 
Richard Jones
Set & Costume Designer 
Lighting Designer 
Mimi Jordan Sherin
Lucy Burge
Puppetry Director 
Finn Caldwell
Puppet Designers 
Nick Barnes
Finn Caldwell
Concerto Köln
Dutch National Opera Chorus
Young singers as part of Dutch National Opera talent
Chorus Master 
Ching-Lien Wu
Re di Scozia 
Luca Tittoto
Sarah Connolly
Anett Fritsch
Andrew Tortise
Sonia Prina
Sandrine Piau
Christopher Diffey
Sam Clark
Kate Colebrook
Louise Kempton
Shaun McKee


Händel is credited for bringing liveliness, more feeling and greater emotional persuasiveness and psychological insight into the opera genre.

In his production of Ariodante, Richard Jones exposes how the court of the Scottish king deals poorly with women. A puppet show at the end of each act gives a preview of the next one. "Jones gets to the heart of this opera’s distinctive melancholia." (The Telegraph review about Ariodante at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, 2014).

Main role
The music is expressive and varied, with a starring role for the mezzo-soprano as the male hero of the title. The role of Ariodante is sung by the famous English mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly. In 2008, she made a huge impression when she stood in for Giulio Cesare from the orchestra pit. In recent years, the celebrated Händel specialist has also sung works by Richard Strauss, Wagner, Berlioz and Bellini.

The production of Ariodante forms a new addition to Dutch National Opera’s fine series of Händel operas. Ariodante is a co-production with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Canadian Opera, Company Toronto and Lyric Opera of Chicago, and was performed in the summer of 2014 at the Festival d 'Aix-en-Provence.


The renowned Baroque specialist Andrea Marcon conducted this production of Ariodante at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. He is making his DNO debut at the head of Concerto Köln. Marcon has previously worked with director Richard Jones in Mazeppa, Der fliegende Holländer and Jenůfa.




Tuesday 19 January 18.00 - 21.00: public masterclass given by Rosemary Joshua, in the Atrium (Dutch National Opera & Ballet)

Thursday 21 January 18.00 - 21.00: public masterclass given by Sandrine Piau, in the Atrium (Dutch National Opera & Ballet)

The participants are 9 young singers who are also singing in the chorus of Ariodante: Grace Carter, Sidsel Aja Eriksen, Ingeborg Bröcheler, Floor van der Sluis, Satriya Krisna, Michael Wilmering, Dominic Kraemer, Channa Malkin (understudy) and Rosina Fabius (understudy).

If you would like to attend the masterclasses, please register by sending an e-mail to: operatalent@operaballet.nl


Program book

Download the program book for free (1.17 MB):


    Fri 18 Sep Opera Britannia - Sarah Connolly

    Sarah Connolly has an intelligence to her phrasing that gives her interpretation depth, substance, undivided focus and belief. (Opera Britannia - Ariadne auf Naxos, 2010)