George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante premiered in London 280 years ago at the Royal Opera House which was originally named the Theatre Royal. Its first site was built in 1732, making it one of the oldest theatrical locations in Europe.

The Royal Opera House is the third theatre on the Covent Garden site. For the first hundred years or so of its history the theatre was primarily a playhouse. The first serious musical works to be heard at Covent Garden were the operas of Handel. From 1735 until his death in 1759 he gave regular seasons, and many of his operas and oratorios were written for Covent Garden or had their first London performances there.

Read more about the History of the Royal Opera House.

Ariodante is a major opera from the early 18th century and occupies a special place in Handel’s long London career. Read more at Opera Online and at Opera Story.

The Handel Institute was established by a declaration of trust in 1987 to advance education by promoting the study and appreciation of the music and life of George Frideric Handel and his contemporaries.

The 250th anniversary of George Frideric Handel’s death in 2009 was marked by a joint production by The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet of his pastoral masque Acis and Galatea and by a small exhibition from Royal Opera House Collections of headdresses and photographs of Giulio Cesare.

Royal opera house

Royal Opera House. Source: Cool Places