Arianna in Creta

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Arianna in Creta (Ariadne in Crete, HWV 32) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. The Italian-language libretto was adapted by Francis Colman from Pietro Pariati's Arianna e Teseo, a text previously set by Nicola Porpora in 1727 and Leonardo Leo in 1729.

Performance history[edit]

The opera was first given at the King's Theatre in London on 26 January 1734.

The Göttingen Handel Festival presented the work in 1999, and it was also performed by Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset in 2002, in venues in Germany and France. The cast included Sandrine Piau, Ann-Liese Sollied, Ann Hallenberg, and Kristinna Hammarström. It was most recently performed in a fully staged production in the UK as Part of the 2014 London Handel Festival, directed By Selina Cadell, under the baton of Lawrence Cummings.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 26 January 1734
Arianna soprano Anna Maria Strada del Pò
Teseo mezzo-soprano castrato Giovanni Carestini
Carilda contralto Maria Caterina Negri
Alceste mezzo-soprano castrato Carlo Scalzi
Tauride soprano Margherita Durastanti
Minos bass Gustavus Waltz


  • Arianna in Creta - Orchestra of Patras. Conductor: George Petrou. Principal singers: Petros Magoulas (Minos), Irini Karaianni (Carilda), Marita Paparizou (Tauride), Mary-Ellen Nesi (Teseo), Theodora Baka (Alceste), Mata Katsuli (Arianna) Recording date: 2005 Label: MD&G Records - 7609 1375-2 (CD)
  • Arianna in Creta. Göttingen Handel Festival. cond. Nicholas McGegan. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. (3 CDs 1999). Arianna: Sophie Daneman; Alceste: Christine Brandes; Teseo: Wilke te Brummelstroete; Tauride: Cécile van de Sant; Carilda: Jennifer Lane; Minos: Philip Cutlip; Il Sonno: Tilmann Prautzsch. Sold by the German Handel Society.
  • Arianna in Creta - Live performance recorded at the Barbican Centre, London, Sunday 17 May 2009, cond. Christopher Hogwood. Broadcast 24 and 25 September 2009, BBC Radio 3.
  • Arianna in Creta. - Live performance. Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques. Arianna: Sandrine Piau; Teseo: Kristina Hammarström; Carilda: Ewa Wolak, ; Tauride: Ann Hallenberg; Alceste: Anne-Lise Sollied; Minos / Il Sonno: Evguenyi Alexiev, Bariton. Radio.


  • Dean, Winton (2006), Handel's Operas, 1726-1741, Boydell Press, ISBN 1843832682  The second of the two volume definitive reference on the operas of Handel
  • Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 782 pages, ISBN 0-19-869164-5

External links[edit]