Handel's Arianna in Creta to Get American Premiere in New York

Classic Arts News   Handel's Arianna in Creta to Get American Premiere in New York
New York's Gotham Chamber Opera will perform the American premiere of Handel's 1733 opera Arianna in Creta in February.

The opera tells the story of the Athenian woman Ariadne, who has been condemned to be fed to the Minotaur as part of a peace accord with Minos, the king of Crete. It premiered at the King's Theatre in London in 1734, a year after a rival company performed Porpora's Arianna in Nasso.

The New York staging is the first ever of Handel's original version, which the composer revised before its premiere to accommodate changes in the cast.

The production, accompanied by a 23-piece period orchestra, is conducted by Neal Goren, the artistic director of Gotham Chamber Opera, and directed by Christopher Alden, whose recent production include Turandot at Welsh National Opera and The Mother of Us All at San Francisco Opera. The cast includes Caroline Worra as Arianna, Hanan Alattar as Alceste, Katherine Rohrer as Theseus, Jennifer Hines as Carilda, Alan Dornak as Tauride, Kevin Burdette as Minos, and Daniel Gross as Il Sonno.

"Although [Arianna in Creta] is one of Handel's finest London operas, it appears to have never received a staging in the U. S.," Goren said in a statement. "The only theory I can proffer for its neglect is the sheer vocal difficulty of the principal roles."

The Gotham Chamber Opera, formerly known as the Henry Street Chamber Opera, also staged the American premiere of Mozart's early Il Sogno de Scipione.

Arianna in Creta runs February 10-18 at the Harry de Jur Playhouse on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Recommended Reading: