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La Monnaie - Orlando
La Monnaie ¦ Opera ¦ Orlando ¦ Intro


Just as in Alcina and Ariodante, Handel’s Orlando was inspired by Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando furioso. Orlando is desperately in love with the pagan princess Angelica, who is in turn in love with an African prince; in this hopeless situation Orlando is driven to madness from which only the magician Zoroastro can save him. Handel wrote this ‘opera seria in tre atti’ for a small orchestra of only five soloists when he was at the height of his opera career. As the theme appealed more to the aristocracy than the middle classes, the work was only moderately successful in the 18th century, but since its rediscovery in the 20th century it has become one of the most frequently performed operas, in particular due to its incredible scene of madness. The use of period instruments conducted by the great Handel expert and baroque specialist René Jacobs goes hand in hand with the contemporary interpretation of stage director Pierre Audi.

New production
Production La Monnaie / De Munt
With the support of The National Lottery
A bald eagle calls. Haliaeetus leucocephalus © Robbie George / National Geographic Stock

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