Music by George Frideric Handel, with a libretto based on a work by Antonio Salvi • January 21, 24, 27 & 29, 2023
Pittsburgh CAPA Theater
High drama in the Scottish Highlands
Ariodante is a beautiful opera seria composed by the prolific Baroque master George Frideric Handel in 1735. These will be its first-ever Pittsburgh performances.
Set in Medieval Scotland, Ariodante tells a tale of love, jealousy, deception, and redemption. Princess Ginevra, daughter of the King, loves and is betrothed to Prince Ariodante. Faithful to Ariodante, Ginevra rejects the advances of the vile Polinesso, Duke of Albany, who views Ginevra as a path to the throne. Dalinda, a lady of the court who has feelings for Polinesso, explains to Polinesso that Ginevra is marrying Ariodante.
Polinesso cynically tricks Dalinda into making it appear that Ginevra has been unfaithful to Ariodante. Both Ariodante and the King fall for the ruse. Ariodante contemplates suicide, and the King not only condemns his daughter, but disowns her too.
His trick proving successful, Polinesso orders his henchmen to kill the only witness to his plot—Dalinda. Ariodante, still grief-stricken at what he believes was Ginevra’s betrayal, runs off the henchmen and saves Dalinda. Dalinda, realizing that her love for Polinesso was a colossal mistake, explains to Ariodante that Ginevra was framed, and that Ginevra has been faithful to Ariodante all along.
Dalinda and Ariodante must work together to clear Ginevra’s name, and the King must learn of Polinesso’s treachery, so that Ariodante and Ginevra can live happily ever after.
Where: Pittsburgh CAPA Theater, 111 9th Street at the corner of Ft. Duquesne Blvd., downtown Pittsburgh
- Sat., Jan. 21, 2023 * 8:00 PM
- Tues., Jan. 24, 2023 * 7:00 PM
- Fri., Jan. 27, 2023 * 7:30 PM
- Sun., Jan. 29, 2023 * 2:00 PM
Dancers: Tori Casagranda+, Savionne Chambers+, Julia Wasilewski+
Featuring the musicians of Chatham Baroque
Conductor: Antony Walker
Stage Director: Crystal Manich
Set Designer: Ningning Yang+
Costume Designer: Grace Kang+
Lighting Designer: Cindy Limauro
Wig/Makeup Designer: Nicole Pagano
Choreographer: Michael Pappalardo+
Stage Manager: Monica Soderman
Assistant Lighting Designer/Master Electrician: Todd Nonn
Assistant Stage Director: Haley Stamats*
Assistant Stage Manager: Hannah Nathan
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
Four performances at Pittsburgh CAPA School Theater, downtown
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
- Run time: Approx. 2 hrs 35 mins with one intermission
- Special Effects Notice: Strobe light effects occur sporadically for the first 10 minutes of Act 3.
- Understand Every Word: Ariodante is sung in Italian with English texts projected above the stage
- Parking Downtown: get real-time parking availability
- Digital Program
- Study Guide
- Pre-Opera Talks
- Braille Programs
- Large-Print Programs
- Children must be ages 6 and up. Suggestions and tips for bringing children to the opera may be found at pittsburghopera.org/FAQ.
- All children must have a ticket. There is a 50% discount for kids and teens ages 6-18.
The mutual love of the Princess Ginevra and Prince Ariodante has the full approval of her father, the King. As the opera begins, she confides her feelings to Dalinda when Polinesso, a Duke who covets the throne, enters her room. He makes advances towards Ginevra, which she forcefully rejects. Dalinda tells him that Ginevra’s heart is already betrothed, but confides that she herself is not indifferent to him. A plot thereupon forms itself in Polinesso’s mind to make use of Dalinda to be revenged on Ginevra.
In the royal gardens, Ariodante and Ginevra, exchanging vows, are given the blessing of the King, who intends to make Ariodante his successor.
Polinesso persuades Dalinda to dress up as Ginevra that night: he promises to respect her honour and make her his wife. Dalinda is overjoyed. Ariodante’s brother Lurcanio declares his love for Dalinda, but she rejects him. Lurcanio reflects on his love for Dalinda.
The act ends with Ginevra and Ariodante expressing their happiness and calling upon the nymphs to celebrate their joy in dance and song.
That night Ariodante, unable to sleep for excitement, walks in the royal gardens when he encounters Polinesso, who feigns surprise at the news of the forthcoming marriage - he claims to be enjoying Ginevra’s favours. When Ariodante becomes furious at these outrageous words, Polinesso promises to substantiate his charge: he tells him to hide and observe with his own eyes. Lurcanio conceals himself to watch the unfolding events. Dalinda, disguised as Ginevra, enters into an apartment with Polinesso. Ariodante is horrified at this apparent betrayal. Polinesso, swearing devotion to Dalinda, gloats over the success of his ruse.
The following morning the King learns that Ariodante has thrown himself into the sea and is believed to be drowned. He breaks the news to Ginevra, who collapses in shock. His own grief is heightened when Lurcanio accuses Ginevra of unchaste behaviour that drove Ariodante to his death. He demands justice: he will fight anyone who offers to champion Ginevra's cause. The King disdainfully declares that Ginevra is no longer his daughter. Ginevra is bewildered at the charge and mourns her fate.
Ariodante, alive, wanders in a field. Dalinda is amazed to see him alive, and he is equally astonished to learn from her of the trickery of which he was the victim. They set out for the palace.
The King refuses to see his daughter until a champion for her can be found. Polinesso, with an eye to succession to the throne, offers himself. Though Ginevra refuses his aid, her father insists on it.
Polinesso meets Lurcanio in public combat and is killed by a mighty blow. Lurcanio, still burning to avenge Ariodante's supposed death, challenges any further champions of Ginevra. A knight whose face is hidden by a closed visor appears. Lurcanio tells the stranger to prepare for combat, but the knight raises his visor and, to general astonishment, reveals himself as Ariodante. He offers to explain all if the King will pardon Dalinda for her unwitting part in the deception. The King at once hastens to his daughter with the happy news while Dalinda gladly accepts Lurcanio’s courtship.
Ginevra, in the apartment to which she has been confined, is giving way to despair when the King joyfully arrives to tell her she is vindicated. She reunites with Ariodante. The opera concludes with their wedding celebration.
(c) Lionel Salter, courtesy of Philips Classics Productions, edited by Crystal Manich
- Review: onStage Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Opera Opens a Brilliant ‘Ariodante’ at the CAPA
- Review: Seen & Heard International - Youthful zest and stylish singing bring luster to Handel’s Ariodante in Pittsburgh
- Review: Pittsburgh Quarterly - Pittsburgh Opera’s “Ariodante” – A Sublime Marriage of the 18th and 21st Centuries
- Review: The Incline - The Baroque bliss of “Ariodante”
- Opera Wire - Pittsburgh Opera & Chatham Baroque to Present Historic Performances of ‘Ariodante’
- Herald-Standard - Pittsburgh Opera to present 'Ariodante' in January
- Observer-Reporter - Pittsburgh Opera to present 'Ariodante'
- Entertainment Central Pittsburgh - January 2023 Theater Guide
- onStage Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Daniel O’Hearn on Local Premiere of ‘Ariodante’
- Post-Gazette - In preparing for her next Pittsburgh opera, a director discusses lighting's emotional impact
- NEXTpittsburgh - 18 things to do this week
- Tribune Review - Pittsburgh Opera debuts Handel's 'Ariodante' in all-new production
- City Paper - Pittsburgh’s top events: Jan. 19-25 - This week’s must-see arts and cultural productions
- Entertainment Central Pittsburgh - ‘Ariodante’ Opens at Pittsburgh Opera