Deidamia (opera)

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Deidamia (HWV 42) is an opera composed by George Frideric Handel. The Italian text was supplied by Paolo Antonio Rolli.

Performance history[edit]

The opera was first performed on 10 January 1741 at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London. The opera received only three performances, at a time when the public was becoming tired of Italian opera. The work was Handel's last Italian opera, and he subsequently turned his attention to composing oratorios. The opera was revived in the 1950s and is occasionally staged. It has been recorded.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 10 January 1741
Deidamia, daughter of Licomede soprano Elisabeth Duparc ("La Francesina")
Nerea, friend of Deidamia soprano Maria Monza
Achille (Achilles), in women's dress, under the name of Pirra soprano Miss Edwards
Ulisse (Odysseus), King of Ithaca, using the name Antiloco mezzo-soprano castrato Giovanni Battista Andreoni
Fenice, King of Argos bass William Savage
Licomede (Lycomedes), King of Skyros bass Henry Theodore Reinhold


The opera is based upon the Greek mythological character Deidamia, the daughter of King Lycomedes of Skyros, who bore a child by Achilles, as told in the stories of Achilles on Skyros.


  • Dean, Winton (2006), Handel's Operas, 1726-1741, Boydell Press, ISBN 1-84383-268-2  The second of the two volume definitive reference on the operas of Handel

External links[edit]