Rinaldo is an opera by George Frideric Handel composed in 1711, and was
the first Italian language opera written specifically for the London
stage. The libretto was prepared by Giacomo Rossi from a scenario
provided by Aaron Hill, and the work was first performed at the Queen's
Theatre in London's Haymarket on 24 January 1711. The story of love,
battle and redemption set at the time of the First Crusade is loosely
based on Torquato Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata ("Jerusalem
Delivered"), and its staging involved many original and vivid effects.
It was a great success with the public, despite negative reactions from
literary critics hostile to the contemporary trend towards Italian
entertainment in English theatres. Rinaldo was the most frequently
performed during Handel's lifetime. However, after 1731 the opera was
not staged for more than 200 years. Following a successful run at New
York's Metropolitan Opera in 1984, performances and recordings of the
work have become more frequent worldwide. Despite the lack of a
standard edition, with its spectacular vocal and orchestral passages
Rinaldo has been cited as one of Handel's greatest operas. Of its
individual numbers the soprano aria "Lascia ch'io pianga" has become a
particular favourite and is a popular concert piece.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Roman Emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius as his son and successor,
after the death of his first adopted son Lucius Aelius.
Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis to excommunicate
Queen Elizabeth I and her followers in the Church of England.
Representing Mississippi in the Senate, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the
first African American to serve in the United States Congress.
In his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences to the 20th
Party Congress, Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the
personality cult and dictatorship of his predecessor Joseph Stalin.
Israeli physician Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim Arabs praying
at the mosque in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs, killing 29 people and
wounding 125 others.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Characteristic of a crone or a feeble old woman
Wikiquote quote of the day:
When the state murders, it assumes an authority I refuse to concede:
the authority of perfect knowledge in final things.
--John Leonard (critic)
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