Dutch National Opera presents

Rodelinda GEORG FRIEDRICH HANDEL (1685-1759)

This show was to been seen in January 2020

the baroque opera of the year

Duration 3:40 break included

Breaks 1

By Handel

Language Italian

Surtitles Dutch and English

What makes Handel’s opera Rodelinda - the only baroque opera of the season - such a popular favourite? In arias suffused with grief, bitter yearning and joy, her story speaks to our imaginations and draws us into her dilemma. What would you do, faced with a choice between loyalty and power?

© Monika Rittershaus
© Monika Rittershaus; Teatro Real


The plot of Rodelinda is fuelled by the intrigues surrounding the supposed death of King Bertarido and the resulting love and power vacuum. Beset on all sides, his wife and widow Rodelinda must choose whether to risk remaining loyal to her dead husband, or to save herself by siding with her enemy Grimoaldo. In the end, she chooses loyalty, even at the cost of her son’s life.

No escape - set

In German director Claus Guth’s staging of Rodelinda, the family tragedy unfolds in a vast house, a black box with white stairways going up and down. In this oppressive setting, with no means of escape, the intrigue and power games become almost unbearable.


Rodelinda's son Flavio plays an important role in this staging. Through his eyes we look at the events, giving the opera a more psychological layering. Imagination and reality are intertwined here. His masks and drawings form his escape from reality and evoke a ghostly atmosphere.  

Baroque opera

Handel’s works have become fixtures of the opera repertoire, Rodelinda being one of his greatest triumphs. Like the two other pinnacles of his oeuvre from the same period, Giulio Cesare and Tamerlano, it was composed for the Royal Academy of Music, of which Handel was the artistic director. Rodelinda is the DNO’s only Baroque opera this season.



Team en cast Rodelinda

Riccardo Minasi is an acclaimed Italian violist and has been chief conductor of the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg since 2017. For his DNO debut, he leads Concerto Köln, one of the world’s leading Baroque music ensembles. 

Claus Guth’s success is rooted in a meticulous preparatory analysis of form and content paired with a strong intuition for what works on stage. In Amsterdam, he previously directed the enthusiastically received productions of Un ballo in maschera, Jephtha and Don Giovanni.

Singing the title role of Rodelinda is soprano Lucy Crowe in her Dutch National Opera debut, joined by world-class countertenors Bejun Mehta, in the role of Bertarido, and Lawrence Zazzo, as Unulfo.


Coproduction: Teatro Real, Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Opéra National de Lyon and Oper Frankfurt



Claus Guth

Stage director

CLAUS GUTH (director) studied in Munich. He made his international breakthrough in 1999 with the world premiere of Luciano Berio’s Cronaca del Luogo (Salzburger Festspiele) and subsequently returned to the festival with Iphigénie en Tauride, Zaide and a Mozart/Da Ponte series.

Riccardo Minasi


RICCARDO MINASI is a violinist and conductor. Since 2017 he has been chief conductor of the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg.



'Dramma per musica' in 3 acts
Nicola Francesco Haym
World premiere
13 February 1725
King’s Theatre London

Team, Cast and Chorus

Musical Director
Riccardo Minasi
Stage Director
Claus Guth
Set and Costume Design
Christian Schmidt
Lighting Design
Joachim Klein
Andi A. Müller
Ramses Sigl
Konrad Kuhn
Concerto Köln
Lucy Crowe
Bejun Mehta
Bernard Richter
Katarina Bradić
Lawrence Zazzo
Luca Tittoto
Fabián Augusto Gómez


Concerto Köln
Concerto Köln is a world-renowned chamber ensemble, formed in 1985 and specialised in playing on period instruments. With its roots in Cologne's music scene, the ensemble tours the world and regularly plays rediscovered works by forgotten composers. Concerto Köln has recently collaborated with Ivor Bolton, Kent Nagano and Andrea Marcon, and in its long-time partnership with conductor René Jacobs has produced several award-winning CD recordings. Previously the ensemble played in DNO's Samson, Ercole amante, Deidamia, Ariodante and Jephtha. In 2019 it will accompany Rodelinda.


Mo 9  November  Rodelinda

Musical evening giving an accessible, in-depth explanation of operas and ballets.

NB: In principle, the foyer evenings are given in Dutch, but in practice the high number of international guests means that English is often spoken as well.

Step into the world of the makers. Sit back with a drink in an informal setting and enjoy an aria or duet, a pas de deux or small ensemble, or an interview with a singer or choreographer. A varied programme, linked to a topical theme, is presented for each production.


The doors and the bar open at 20.00. The evening begins at 20.30 and lasts around an hour and a quarter. The bar will stay open afterwards.

Regular - € 10
Students - € 7.50

Free for Giving Circle members of Dutch National Opera, Dutch National Ballet and Dutch National Opera & Ballet

Prices are exclusive of booking charges. Tickets for performances can be purchased separately


    Thu 14 Feb Claus Guth – NRC about Don Giovanni (2016)

    ‘Claus Guth’s direction is clever, dark and perfectionistic in its timing and acting direction’

    Thu 14 Feb Claus Guth - Don Giovanni - de Volkskrant (2016)

    ‘Claus Guth, the German director who’s never shy to take a bold approach […].’