University of Hartford "H" Magazine - Winter 2019

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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Handel's Il Pastor Fido

07/15/2012 1:00 pm
07/15/2012 4:30 pm

Host Keith Brown writes:

Pastoral, bucolic lyric theater music redolent of the beauties of Nature in Summertime always finds a place in my programming for the month of July. Il Pastor Fido ("The Faithful Shepherd," 1712) was the second opera Handel wrote for London audiences after his highly successful opera seria, Rinaldo (1711).

Handel conceived this operatic pastorale on a more intimate scale than Rinaldo. It didn't do nearly as well as its predecessor in its short initial run at the Queen's Theatre. In 1734, Handel expanded upon his score for Il Pastor Fido and revived the Arcadian stage entertainment, now including a Terpsichore dance sequence. 

The world premiere recording of the 1712 ur-version came out earlier this year on two CDs courtesy of Harmonia Mundi USA. David Bates directs the period instrument ensemble La Musica Nuova. There are six vocal soloists.