Premiered in London in 1733, Handel’s “magic opera” “Orlando” is based on a libretto by Carlo Sigismondo Capeci that derives indirectly from Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem “Orlando furioso”. This subject was very popular at the time and was frequently set to music, e.g. by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Agostino Steffani and Joseph Haydn. The title role of Orlando is the last one that Handel wrote for the celebrated castrato Senesino. Several stunning stage effects intended to illustrate Zoroastro’s sorcery call for sophisticated baroque stage machinery.
Orchestral scoring: S-solo, 2Mez-solo, A-solo, B-solo / 2,2,0,1 – 2,0,0,0 – Str(3V,2Va) – Bassi(Vc,Violone[Kb],Fag,Erzlaute,Cemb)
Detailed instrumentation: Soprano solo, Mezzo-soprano solo (2), Alto solo, Bass solo, Orchestra